May 16, 2024, 5:30 PM

AFC backs Palestine’s bid for Israel suspension from FIFA

AFC backs Palestine’s bid for Israel suspension from FIFA

TEHRAN, May 16 (MNA) – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has supported Palestine's proposal to suspend Israel from the world's football governing body, FIFA, over the regime's criminal war in the Gaza Strip.

During the 34th AFC Congress, which concluded in Thailand's capital Bangkok on Thursday, the regional body's president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa voiced his support for the motion by the Palestine Football Association (PFA), Press TV reported.

It came ahead of Friday's FIFA congress, which seeks to "adopt immediate and appropriate sanctions against Israeli teams." FIFA will hold a vote on whether to expel Israel from international matches on Friday.

The proposal was formally submitted by the Palestinian Football Association on March 11 for discussion at FIFA's 74th annual Congress in Bangkok, after being added to the agenda with the support of the Algerian, Jordanian, Syrian and Yemeni federations.

"The AFC is only as strong as its members and when one suffers, all its other members are affected," Sheikh Salman told delegates.

He emphasized that AFC members stand together "in seeking effective football-related solutions to the grievances raised by the Palestine FA in their proposal."

He added that the AFC has the duty to support the PFA for a "swift and effective resolution in line with the rules, regulations and statutes of the AFC and FIFA."

AFC delegates stood for a minute's silence in remembrance of the victims of Israel's brutal attacks against the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip and were shown a video produced by the Palestine FA highlighting the destruction caused by Israeli forces.

At least 35,272 Palestinians, mostly children and women, have been killed and 79,205 others wounded in the war that Israel began on October 7, 2023 following a retaliatory operation by the Palestinian territory’s resistance movements.

Addressing delegates, FIFA president Gianni Infantino touched on the issue as he called for a united front in efforts to deal with issues both within and outside the sport.

"We are all suffering with what is going on in Palestine. We pray for the mothers who lose their children and we pray for the mothers who lose their children everywhere in the world," Infantino said.

FIFA is the governing body for world football and seeks to develop the game worldwide. But the organization claims that it holds philanthropic responsibilities and uses football as a tool to encourage social integration amongst communities around the world.

The latest development comes as a number of countries have already called on FIFA to suspend Israel from football-related activities due to the regime’s brutal war against Palestinians in Gaza.


News ID 215230


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