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The first batch of supplies entered Gaza through a dock built by the US military

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Palestinian Football Federation President Jibril Rajoub was speaking at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok on Friday.Credit…Manan Vatsyayana/AFP — Getty Images

Global soccer’s governing body FIFA on Friday postponed a decision to temporarily ban Israel over its actions during the conflict in Gaza and the West Bank, saying it needed to seek legal advice before taking a motion submitted by the Palestinian Football Federation.

The motion calling for Israel to suspend the match cited “Israeli’s occupation of Palestine, particularly Gaza, as a violation of international law” and cited violations of FIFA’s human rights and discrimination regulations.

response an emotional address At the FIFA annual congress, the head of the Palestinian football body Jibril Rajoub and FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that the urgency of the situation meant that he would convene the International Football Association Conference on July 25. Special meeting of the United Nations High-Level Committee.

He said that ahead of that meeting, FIFA would ask experts to analyze whether Israel’s actions violated the governing body’s rules.In contrast, FIFA moved quickly in 2022 Ban Russian teams and clubs The game ended after the country’s military launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Rajoub has imposed sanctions on Israel and its teams over the years on a variety of issues, including freedom of movement for Palestinian players and allowing teams from areas governed by the Palestinian Football Association to compete in Israeli domestic leagues. Mr Rajoub said that since Israeli forces invaded Gaza last October in retaliation for a Hamas-led attack on October 7, all football infrastructure in the area, including a historic stadium, had been destroyed.

Moshe Zuares, president of the Israeli Football Association, called the Palestinian motion “cynical.” But even the possibility of temporarily banning its team could have immediate consequences: Israel will compete in the men’s tournament at the Paris Olympics during the FIFA meeting in July, and begin qualifying for the 2026 men’s World Cup later this year. .

Both Israeli and Palestinian officials used Friday’s run-up to the conference to lobby officials from other national federations.A day earlier, at a meeting of Asian football’s governing body, members A video was played Showing the impact of the war in Gaza, the motion was then unanimously decided in favor of a Palestinian federation.

Palestinian officials addressed FIFA’s 211 member states twice during Friday’s meeting, after which Jordanian officials demanded FIFA take action.

Infantino, while acknowledging the urgency of the matter, declined to call a vote. Instead, he said the organization’s 37-member council would decide within two months what to do.

“FIFA will immediately commission independent legal experts to assess the three demands made by the Palestinian Football Association and ensure that FIFA’s status and regulations are correctly applied,” he said.

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