Iran backs Palestine's call to oust Israel from Fifa

Iran backs Palestine's call to oust Israel from Fifa
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Published May 23rd, 2015 - 23:22 GMT via

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Iran backs Palestinians’ call for FIFA to show Israel red card
Iran backs Palestinians’ call for FIFA to show Israel red card

The Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran says it will inform FIFA of its agreement with the Palestinian Football Association’s demand for expelling Israel from the world body.

Ali Kaffashian, the president of the FFIRI, said the Iranian federation was informed on Saturday of the PFA request to get the nod from countries across the world regarding the expulsion of Israel from FIFA.

Top athletes and federations from different countries have endorsed the proposal, arguing that Israel has been violating the Palestinians’ rights as well as the international law. The signees pointed out that Palestine has been occupied since 1967 by Israel, which has imposed 50 discriminatory laws on Palestinians in their own lands.

Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, said he is optimistic about the vote the general assembly of FIFA will hold on the issue on May 29. “I am 100 percent sure that we will win the vote and remove the Israelis from FIFA,” Rajoub said after his meeting with FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Three-fourths of the 209 members must vote “Yes” to expel a member.

Palestinian players, particularly from the Gaza Strip, are often banned to travel to the West Bank or abroad to attend training sessions or matches.

The visiting teams are also sometimes denied entry, causing the Palestinian Football Association great problems.

The Palestinian Football Association became a FIFA member in 1998, joining Scotland, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong and others as members that are not internationally recognized sovereign states.

The Palestinian national side competes in the Asian Football Confederation and won a ticket to the Asia Cup for the first time in 2015.

A FIFA suspension would mean that Israel would be barred from international competitions, including the World Cup and European championships, and that its professional clubs could not participate in competitions like the UEFA Champions League.

The international body has in the past suspended its members like apartheid-era South Africa and war-torn Yugoslavia. Also, FIFA prevented Gibraltar, a British territory long claimed by Spain, from joining.

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