Tag Archives: Israel

FIFA must ban Israeli settlement teams, if it wants a level playing field

There is a rising tide of pressure, including UN intervention, calling for exclusion. Any other decision would go against football’s core principle of impartiality | BEN JAMAL in the Guardian
Beitar Maale Adumim football club team play against Ironi Modiin football club during an Israeli league match in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Maale Adumin

‘Six Israeli clubs are playing in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. | Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

(October 13) – As a follower of football, I am passionate and partisan when supporting my team. But, like all fans, I am infuriated when I sense that a referee is not applying the rules impartially. At the heart of the beautiful game is that simple principle of fairness: that we are all playing on a level playing field.

Holding true to that fundamental has enabled sport to play a leading role in addressing wider societal inequalities – as, for example, when the sporting boycott of South Africa played such a key role in addressing apartheid. There’s no reason it shouldn’t do likewise in Palestine.

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UN letter to FIFA over Israeli soccer clubs

FIFA’s ubiquitous banner. Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes states: “Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

FIFA’s ubiquitous banner. Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes states: “Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

By Peter Beaumont

Jerusalem (October 11) – A senior United Nations official 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”. Continue reading

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After Palestinian takes gold in Rio for Jordan, Israelis claim his roots are ‘Israeli’!

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Olympian at the checkpoint: why a Palestinian swimmer couldn’t train in Jerusalem

Mary al Atrash, a 22-year-old swimmer from Beit Sahour that will represent Palestine in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Mary al Atrash, a 22-year-old swimmer from Beit Sahour who will represent Palestine in the 2016 Olympic Games.

By Jimmy Hutcheon and Chloe Rouveyrolles*

Yesterday, Palestinian swimmer Mary al Atrash, swam for the first time in the Rio Olympics, in the 50-meter freestyle. She finished third in her heat and finished in 28.76 seconds, beating her personal best of 29.91. That finish did not affect the broader ranking: Sadly, Mary finished 63rd of 91 athletes, and will not be taking part in the semi-finals, which feature only the 16 best swimmers. Continue reading

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Palestine Cup soccer final delayed after Israel bars Gaza players from traveling to West Bank

The Gaza team must cross the Israeli border to reach the West Bank city of Hebron, where Sunday’s game was set to take place. Nidal al-Mughrabi

Gaza's Shujaiyeh United soccer club plays Hebron’s Al-Ahly soccer club at Alyarmouk stadium in Gaza City, August 6, 2015 | AP

Gaza’s Shujaiyeh United soccer club plays Hebron’s Al-Ahly soccer club at Alyarmouk stadium in Gaza City, August 6, 2015 | AP

REUTERS (August 7)  – The Palestinian Football Federation postponed the final Palestine Cup game between the champion teams of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after Israel denied entry permits to some of the Gaza players, sports officials said. Continue reading

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What underlies Beitar Jerusalem fans’ hooliganism?

In this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 photo, Beitar Jerusalem F.C. soccer supporters watch a State Cup soccer match against Maccabi Umm al-Fahm F.C. at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem | AP

In this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 photo, Beitar Jerusalem F.C. soccer supporters watch a State Cup soccer match against Maccabi Umm al-Fahm F.C. at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem | AP

With their racist remarks, their conduct and their antidemocratic legislation, Israeli politicians legitimize the phenomenon called Beitar Jerusalem. Haaretz

(July 19) – The wild behaviour of Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans in Belgium last Thursday should surprise no one. That famous “handful” of fans – which is not a handful, but a large group of a few thousand – long ago took control of the club and is holding it hostage to its racist views, supported by violent actions that are not met with significant punishment by the authorities. Continue reading

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Geopolitics is behind the FIFA scandal as the war against Russia enters a new front

Soccer CorporatizationThere is no question that there is a lot of corruption inside the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Bribes and behind the scene deals have been going on for decades. The sport federation is responsible for the most watched and popular sport in the world and is part of a lucrative business venture that has a lot of soft power and prestige attached to it. MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA* Continue reading

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