(JNS.org) The international soccer association FIFA said Tuesday it would delay a final decision on a draft resolution regarding the participation of Israeli soccer teams from Judea and Samaria.
“Following the report by chairman of the Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine, Tokyo Sexwale, the FIFA Council considered that at this stage it is premature for the FIFA Congress to take any decision,” FIFA said in a statement following a council meeting in Bahrain.
The soccer association’s decision to temporarily remove the anti-Israel item from its agenda came after the Palestinian Football Association, headed by Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub, exerted pressure on FIFA to ban six Israeli teams from areas in Judea and Samaria, including Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, Oranit and the Jordan Valley.
The FIFA Council’s decision marks a setback for Rajoub, who has worked to implement the anti-Israel resolution for months and routinely uses the international soccer body as a platform for political statements.
The draft resolution was purportedly cancelled following a conversation on the subject last weekend between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
“If the decision against the teams from the settlements passes, it will make sports a source of division, instead of a source of conflict resolution. It could ruin FIFA,” Netanyahu told Infantino, Haaretz reported.