June 15, 2024

The FIFA-Russia Controversy: Setting a Precedent for Holding Countries Accountable in Football, Yet Staying Silent on Israel and the Gaza Strip

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FIFA’s decision to ban Russia and Russian football clubs from international competitions following their invasion of Ukraine has set a precedent for holding countries accountable in the world of football. However, this same standard is not being applied to Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, where thousands of innocent lives have been lost, including many children.

Palestinian football players, officials, and fans are expressing their disappointment with FIFA for not taking action to sanction and ban Israel. The outcry from Palestinians and their supporters has been growing as they urge the governing body of international football 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 was held on neutral ground due to ongoing conflict but it also highlighted how important it is for FIFA to address such issues that involve human rights violations.

Despite multiple requests for comment from Al Jazeera, FIFA has failed to respond to inquiries 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

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