FIFA president Gianni Infantino has “given Israel a green light to continue its repression of Palestinian sports,” the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said on Thursday.
Fifa blocked the Palestinian Football Association’s motion at Thursday’s Fifa congress, which demanded that the Israeli Football Association abide by Fifa statutes by excluding football clubs based in illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
Instead, Infantino hijacked the Congress agenda and prevented a vote on the motion, bowing to Israeli bullying tactics.
Hind Awwad of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said: “It is clear that Infantino is following in former Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s footsteps, and that his commitment to upholding human rights is a sham.
“He had an opportunity to correct Fifa’s disgraceful record of delays and selective enforcement of its statutes, but chose instead to doubledown with more of the same unabashed disregard for international law and its own statutes.
“The Fifa Council prevented the Congress from voting on the issue of Israeli settlements, once again shielding Israel from accountability for its violations of Fifa statutes and Palestinian human rights.
“Today’s Fifa Congress will stain Fifa’s already damaged reputation.
“Infantino and Fifa have effectively given Israel a green light to continue its repression of Palestinian sports, arbitrarily arrest Palestinian athletes and to continue to play on stolen Palestinian land.”
Red Card Israeli Racism activist Kenneth Fryde slammed the decision, calling it an “old fashioned swindle.”
He told the Star: “President Infantino has today subverted democracy, created pseudofacts to fit his dubious version of events and made a mockery of the Fifa reform process.
“We are unaware of any regulation that allows Fifa Council to deny a vote on a motion that has been duly submitted by one of its members, and instead substitute one of its own invention at a moment’s notice.
“This is not the ‘transparency, accountability, inclusivity and cooperation’ that are supposed to be the guiding principles of the ‘new Fifa.’ It is an old-fashioned swindle.”