7 May 2015

Move to suspend Israel from FIFA

12:37 pm on 7 May 2015

Football's world governing body FIFA is to discuss a proposal from the Palestinian Football Association to suspend Israel.

The matter is on the agenda for FIFA's upcoming annual conference in Zurich at the end of the month.

The PFA's complaint says Israel has continued to hamper its football activities, saying Israel imposes restrictions on the movement of athletes between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The PFA has also cited curbs Israel places on the import into Palestinian territories of sports equipment and on visits by foreign teams and individuals.

Two years ago, FIFA established a task force which included president Sepp Blatter, the Israeli and Palestinian football chiefs and the heads of the European and Asian soccer confederations, to examine the Palestinian complaints and to try and resolve them.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter Photo: PHOTOSPORT

However the PFA said nothing had improved.

It would need a three-quarter majority of FIFA's 209 members for Palestine's proposal to succeed.

Israel, whose federation is a member of UEFA, cites security concerns for restrictions it imposes in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority exercises limited self rule, and along the border with the Gaza Strip.

But it said it has eased travel for Palestinian athletes between the territories, which requires passage via Israel.