Red Card Israeli Racism – FIFA update

RCIR-slogan-124x1461As news spreads of the corruption proceedings against leading FIFA officials, behind closed doors a fierce political battle is being fought over the Palestine Football Association’s motion for suspension of the Israel FA – due to be debated at FIFA Congress on Friday.
The PFA is coming under intense pressure to withdraw the motion and accept another last-minute deal in its place. Red Card Israeli Racism understands that this deal would include:
  • the “VIP” checkpoint service and Gaza/West Bank shuttle for footballers announced by Sepp Blatter in Ramallah last week (see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/20/uk-soccer-palestinians-blatter-idUKKBN0O51PR20150520) – a concession apparently proposed by Netanyahu
  • the tax exemption for imports of sports equipment similarly announced last week
  • a new Israel/Palestine “monitoring group” to oversee progress in the development of new facilities
  • a new “working group” to deal with “other issues”
So it’s clear that Israel is prepared to offer significant carrots to see off the boycott threat. It is worth noting that some of these make a nonsense of the smear campaign organised by Israel’s foreign ministry, which has seen diplomats around the world passing on “incriminating information” about alleged links of footballers to terrorist activity (seehttp://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.656254). What government with genuine concerns for the safety of its citizens would offer VIP travel status to those it suspected of terrorism?
It also appears that the deal on offer would allow the IFA to continue to welcome teams from illegal settlements into its competitions – despite the fact that this attack on the PFA’s integrity is a clear breach of FIFA statute 17 on the independence of member associations from third parties. The IFA’s racist offences – its inaction against long-term discrimination and racist violence at Beitar Jerusalem FC and its racial segregation of its own children’s league in the Al Shomoron region – are likewise to be kicked into the long grass. This despite the fact that Blatter has declared “zero tolerance” of racism and that suspension/expulsion is specifically mandated for such offences under FIFA statue 3. 
Meanwhile, Red Card Israeli Racism has been told by our own FA that it will not support the PFA motion since in their view “finding a resolution outside of the FIFA Congress arena is the most appropriate way forward.”  We urge PFA supporters to express their opinion of the FA’s stance by phoning them on 0800 169 1863 and/or tweeting them at https://twitter.com/fa.
We also urge PFA supporters to sign the new petition for FIFA to ban Israel at https://secure.avaaz.org/en/fifa_ban_israel_5_mena_locked/?tbaFbab and to forward it to all contacts.
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