Scottish MEP Alyn Smith has cautiously welcomed FIFA’s reply on Israeli settlement clubs, after he led a joint call from 66 Members of the European Parliament across all political groups, urging FIFA to ban Israel’s illegal settlement clubs.
While Alyn urged FIFA to respect its own rules and prevent football from being politicized by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, FIFA’s President replied to Alyn in a letter confirming the issue was not being ignored by the world’s football organisation. FIFA’s next meeting on October 13 will include the issue of Israel’s 5 settlement clubs, the letter reveals.
“Mr Infantino has quickly replied to my letter ahead of FIFA’s October meeting, I think this is a positive sign that FIFA intends to take international law and human rights seriously, as it did when it recently and successfully- told Russia to remove Crimea’s clubs from the Russian football federation.
“I now expect FIFA to follow suit on the case of the Israeli settlement clubs which are in breach of FIFA’s rules. Mr. Infantino committed very clearly to upholding human rights last May, I and many others from all political groups expect him to deliver soon on this unacceptable situation.
“I repeat that our joint call on FIFA to ban Israel’s illegal Israeli settlement clubs is for both Israel and Palestine to play by the rules of the game, to let football’s values of fair play win against politics and, in this case, to avoid FIFA involvement in Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian Occupied Territories.”
More information below:
FIFA President Infantino’s letter to Alyn and the 66 MEPs can be read here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/alynsmith/pages/2131/attachments/original/1474296364/16092016_FIFA_President_reply_to_MEPs_Israeli_settlements_Palestine.pdf?1474296364
Alyn's joint letter to FIFA, co-signed by 66 Members of the European Parliament from all political groups except the far right:
Here is a map of Israeli football clubs based in illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories: