Campaign Against Israel in 2016 Olympics?

Foreign Ministry officials already preparing ahead of an anticipated fight by PA to have Israel ousted from the pinnacle of world sports.

Tova Dvorin ,


The Palestinian Authority (PA)'s soccer chief Jibril Rajoub may have failed miserably to get Israel booted from world soccer organization FIFA, but the Foreign Ministry predicts a greater challenge ahead - the fight to keep Israel in the Olympics. 

Rajoub is expected to attempt to oust Israel from the 2016 Rio Olympics, officials told Army Radio Sunday, and the Foreign Ministry has already delved into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) bylaws ahead of the potential threat. 

Israel is unlikely to be banned from the event, officials notes, as the IOC's rules are far more complex than FIFA's due to its unique regulations. 

Yaakov Finkelstein, from the Foreign Ministry delegation to the FIFA Congress on Friday, spoke on the station's "Good Morning Israel" program, about the next steps.

"We are not afraid and we are prepared," Finkelstein noted. "Every time there's a new [boycott] attempt, so I do not say after FIFA that this is an achievement that we can sit and rest on our laurels over."

"I'm sure there will be another round [of sportsfare and] we will come ready."

Rajoub had campaigned to have Israel suspended from FIFA because, he claimed, Israel was restricting the movement of Palestinian Arab players.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has recently spoken out against suspending the Israeli Football Association but Rajoub was able to get the request placed on the agenda for the FIFA Congress which took place Friday.

However, he backed out at the last second on Friday, claiming that the PA had not garnered enough support - both from within and from its expected European allies - for a boycott of the Israeli team, instead forming a commission within FIFA to evaluate the matter.

Rajoub later insisted that expelling the Israel Football Association (IFA) is "still on the table."