Football fields have become mass graves for Palestinian victims of Israel’s genocide – Football Australia must support FIFA ban on Israel

May 16, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) calls on Football Australia to support a Palestinian petition for the FIFA Congress to ban the Israeli Football Association when the issue is put to a vote tomorrow.

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) petition calls for the world’s football governing body to exclude Israel on the grounds of human rights and humanitarian law violations in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. 

At least 91 Palestinian football players, referees, coaches and administrators have been killed by Israel’s Occupying Forces in its genocide in Gaza, and stadiums and club headquarters have been turned to rubble by Israeli bombings.

Football fields in Gaza are being used as mass graves for the bodies of Palestinians slaughtered by the rogue state of Israel.

The Israeli Foreign Minister has threatened to imprison PFA’s president if the association fails to withdraw its petition.

These all represent not only flagrant violations of human rights and international law, but grave breaches of FIFA’s own regulations. 

And yet, FIFA is yet to address this, despite there existing precedent for it to do so – the world football body suspended Russia over its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Football Australia’s support for a FIFA ban on Israel would send a powerful message that FIFA member states cannot use the global competition to sportswash genocide and crimes against humanity, and that Israel must be held accountable.

Quotes attributed to APAN President Nasser Mashni:

APAN unequivocally supports the Palestinian request for FIFA to isolate Israel from the global football community and to hold the rogue state accountable for its actions, and calls on Football Australia to have the moral fortitude to support Palestine’s petition.

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) is demonstrating incredible resolve in pursuing this just cause, even as the Israeli Foreign Minister threatens to imprison its president if the PFA fails to withdraw its petition.

There can be no acceptance of apartheid or genocide by our national football body, or by FIFA.

We must not allow the football field to be used as a propaganda tool for the Israeli Government. 

Israel must not be allowed to sportswash its way out of being held accountable for its genocide in Gaza and its decades of human rights abuses and its policy of apartheid in occupied Palestine.

If Football Australia is to be taken seriously in its commitment to human rights, and to the safety of all players, it must support Palestine’s petition.