The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has given Israel until this summer to dramatically improve their treatment of Palestinian football players or face a complete expulsion from the international governing body.
The official issue is a long-standing one, the Israeli military’s harsh detentions and arbitrary travel restrictions on Palestinian football players, which have often kept the Palestinian national team from competing with its full roster, or hosting games in the occupied West Bank.
The much higher profile incident which is bringing this to a head however, came earlier this month, when Israeli troops deliberately crippled a pair of Palestinian football players, 19-year-old Jawhar Nasser Jawhar and 17-year-old Adam Halabiya, shooting them both multiple times in both feet to ensure they would never play again.
The Palestinian Football Association confirmed pushing the ban after the cripplings, saying Israel had made “death, injury or imprisonment” the fate of many up-and-coming players throughout the years.
Israeli officials condemned the move, accusing FIFA of “mixing politics and sport” and insisting that their treatment of Palestinian players had actually gotten much better in recent years.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Buildup in Rival Syrian Rebel Factions Threatens Spread of Fighting - July 20th, 2017
- Syrian Rebels Condemn CIA Aid Cut - July 20th, 2017
- Qatar Blockade Cuts Into Saudi-Yemen Alliance - July 20th, 2017
- Doubts About Success of North Korea 'ICBM' Undercut US Sanctions Push - July 20th, 2017
- Ambush Near Damascus Kills 28 Syrian Troops - July 20th, 2017