FIFA Scandal May Delay Vote to Ban Israel from League

With FIFA in turmoil, a meeting to discuss the Palestinian Authority's demand that Israel be banned from international soccer may be postponed.

But, perhaps prompted by the scandal that enveloped the organization this week, reports speculate that Israel and the PA have come to an understanding on providing permits for PA soccer players to travel between PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria and Gaza.

The PA, which has been a FIFA member since 1998, wants world football's governing body to bar Israel from international competition over its restrictions on the movement of Palestinian players – the same restrictions it has against all Palestinian Arabs living in the PA. 

It also opposes the participation in the Israeli championships of five clubs located in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. 

The head of the Palestine Football Association (PFA), Jibril Rajoub, has been leading a drive to have Israel suspended from FIFA, claiming Israel discriminates against Palestinian Arab players and restricts their movement.

A vote on the PA demands was to have been taken at the upcoming meeting, which now may be postponed for several months.

Business as usual – including the meeting to discuss the PA's demands – is now on hold at FIFA, which saw indictments issued Tuesday for six of its top officials. The indictments include charges of corruption, bribery, and fraud surrounding the organization's decision to hold the World Cup in Qatar.

However, some points worked out by the two sides by FIFA president Sepp Blatter may be sufficient to resolve the issue, sources said.

Among those points: The establishment of a committee that will supervise the transportation issue, issuing special transfer documents to members of teams; lifting restrictions on equipment shipped to PA teams, and a suspension of customs duties payments on those items; and a committee to discuss building new stadiums for PA teams.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195934

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