PA asks court to force FIFA to ban 'settlement' clubs

Palestine Football Association asks world's top sports court to force FIFA to rule on the future of Israeli clubs in Judea and Samaria.

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Elad Benari,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)
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The Palestine Football Association (PFA) on Tuesday appealed to the world's top sports court in an attempt to force FIFA to rule on the future of Israeli clubs playing in Judea and Samaria, AFP reported.

FIFA, the governing body of soccer, recently delayed a decision on whether to ban Israeli teams operating in Judea and Samaria.

The case filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is aimed at voiding the FIFA resolution, passed at its Congress last month, to push back a decision on the Israeli clubs until March 2018 at the latest.

The PFA, along with groups such as Human Rights Watch, has long attempted to force FIFA ban the six Israeli teams in Judea and Samaria, claiming that their presence there is in breach of FIFA statutes, which forbids another member association playing on another territory without permission.

In its CAS appeal, the PFA called for FIFA's postponement decision to be declared "null and void" and that "FIFA be ordered to immediately vote" on the issue, the Lausanne-based court said in a statement.

Israel argues that FIFA rules are unenforceable as there is no permanent border, and it accuses the PFA of trying to use a football flap to establish borders.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said the body's final decision will likely come before the March 2018 deadline, indicating it will be resettled at the next Congress in India in October.