FIFA’s Silence on Israel in Gaza: Is it Time for Accountability?

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FIFA has been under fire from Palestinian football players, officials, and fans for not taking action to sanction and ban Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost, including many children, in the ongoing conflict. The outcry from Palestinians and their supporters has been growing as they urge FIFA to hold Israel accountable.

Comparisons have been made to FIFA’s immediate and decisive action in banning Russia and Russian football clubs from international competitions when Russia invaded Ukraine. Despite being strong contenders in the playoffs for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, Russia was swiftly eliminated by FIFA following their invasion, a decision that was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Despite these precedents, FIFA has remained silent on the issue of Israel’s involvement in the conflict in Gaza. Calls for action have intensified, particularly in the lead-up to Israel’s Path B playoff final in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. The match, which Iceland emerged victorious with a 4-1 result, was held on neutral ground in Budapest, Hungary due to the ongoing conflict.

FIFA has failed to respond to multiple requests for comment from Al Jazeera about the situation. The demand for FIFA to address Israel’s actions and potential consequences in the world of football continues to gain momentum, with many advocating for the banning of Israel’s football team as a form of accountability.

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