FA urges FIFA to ban Israel
from soccer events
3 April 2002
The Jordanian Football Association urged world soccer's governing
body to freeze Israel's participation in FIFA events in the same
way it had banned once-apartheid South Africa.
The JFA said in a letter obtained Wednesday that its request to
FIFA was prompted by Israel's intensified military escalation against
the Palestinians and refusal to abide by United Nations resolutions
and withdraw from Palestinian territories.
"In order to uphold its banner of 'fair play,' the entire
football community should freeze Israel's participation in this
noble sport," said JFA President Prince Ali in a two-page letter
Ali, who is a half brother of Jordan's King Abdullah II, said Israel
should be banished "the same way it (FIFA) did with the former
apartheid South Africa."
The ban should remain "until such time when Israel abides
by international law, United Nations resolutions and the will of
the world and restores the dignity and freedom to the occupied people
of Palestine," Ali said in his letter.
Ali is in charge of an elite commando unit supervising the security
of the monarch, but he holds no political portfolio under the constitution
that bans royal family members from holding public office.
His remarks, however, underline official frustrations with Jordan's
policy of peace with neighboring Israel. Amman on Monday threatened
to take unspecified measures in its relations with Israel, ratified
under a 1994 peace treaty.
Senior government officials have said any decision, such as dismissing
Israeli Ambassador David Dadonn, will be carefully studied.
Ali is also head of the West Asian Football Federation, which groups
Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.