THE Friends of Palestine Solidarity Association in Zimbabwe are lobbying ZIFA to vote for a resolution to expel the Israel Football Association from FIFA at the next organisation’s Congress set for June 5 in France.
The organisation is among several bodies worldwide that have been fighting for the rights of the Palestinian people.
FPSA chairperson in Zimbabwe. Robson Mcleigh Musarafu, yesterday said they have written to ZIFA to back a motion by Palestine to expel Israel from the world football body.
“Friends of Palestine Solidarity Association support a resolution to be adopted by a majority of the 209 FIFA member associations, to expel the Israel Football Association from FIFA over Israel’s systematic apartheid, ethnic discrimination and gross violations of the West Bank, including Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip . . .
“ZIFA can help us hold Israel to account by voting in support of expulsion and we will be very pleased if the forthcoming resolution against Israeli occupation of Palestinian soccer sport is passed.
“By FIFA’s own statutes, one national football association shall not play on the territory of another national football association. Hence FIFA should stop recognising soccer matches played by Israeli settlement clubs.
“This occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip fall under the sovereignty of the Palestinian Football Association.
‘’The presence of Israeli clubs in those territories constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA rules and most importantly, of the UN recognition of Palestine sovereignty as a state in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
“The above is our position in support of the beautiful game of football and hope that ZIFA shall support Palestinian soccer players regain credibility by voting to expel Israel from FIFA until this occupation is ended,” said Musarafu.
Palestinian leaders have demanded that the Israeli federation be suspended from world football unless it orders the six teams – Beitar Ironi, Beitar Ironi Ariel, Beitar Givat Ze’’ev, Beitar Ma’’aleh Adomim, Hapoel Oranit and Hapoel Bik’at Hayarden — be relocated.