A senior United Nations official, Wilfried Lemke (the UN special adviser on sport for development and peace) has written to FIFA to reiterate that the UN regards Israeli settlements – and by extension Israeli football teams that play in them – to be “without validity” and “illegal under international law”.
Israel has six soccer clubs in illegal Jewish-only settlements on unlawfully occupied Palestinian land. FIFA laws prohibit using another country’s land without consent. For this and other reasons activists are calling on FIFA to expel and give Israeli settlements the red card. South African FIFA official, Tokyo Sexwale, is currently part of a FIFA investigation into whether these teams should be allowed to participate in international football.
The UN letter on the Israeli settlement football teams comes ahead the a high-level FIFA Council meeting in Zurich, which starts today (Thursday 13 October), where the issue is expected to be discussed. Click here for more information.
“By holding games on stolen [Palestinian] land, FIFA is tarnishing the beautiful game of football.”
– Sari Bashi, Human Rights Watch (HRW)