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FIFA submits draft report on
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FIFA submits draft report on "settler" football teams

The future of six Israeli football teams based in West Bank settlements remains up in the air, as the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine chairman Tokyo Sexwale presented a draft report in Zurich on Wednesday on a number of disputes between the Israeli and the Palestinian Football Associations.

Sexwale delivered the draft report to the monitoring committee, which is made up of himself, a FIFA representative, and IFA and PFA representatives.

The May 2015 FIFA Congress created the monitoring committee to resolve disputes between the two associations. 

Susan Shalabi, a Palestinian member of the monitoring committee and PFA vice chairwoman, said that Sexwale presented the draft report which deals with both the issues of six clubs and freedom of movement.

The Palestinians are pushing FIFA to drop or order the relocation of the six teams, arguing that the organisation’s by-laws prohibit teams from one country from playing on the territory of another. The clubs are situated, they argue, on territory that will be within the borders of a future Palestinian state.

In contrast, Israel contends that the law is inapplicable as the Palestinians do not have permanent borders, and that such a decision would politicise FIFA. The clubs in question belong to the settlements of Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Oranit and Tomer. 

Despite the ongoing dispute over the settlement clubs, Shalabi said the monitoring committee has made significant progress on the issue of freedom of movement. According to Shalabi, the parties have agreed to create an online platform that will monitor the movement of the Palestinian and international soccer players and coaches. The IFA and PFA will have access to enter data into the platform, while FIFA will be able oversee activity on the platform, Shalabi said. 

 Click here to watch the video in Jerusalem Post

Thursday, March 23, 2017
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