A letter obtained reveals a request from several Middle Eastern football associations to FIFA, urging the suspension of Israel due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. This proposal, led by Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, president of the West Asian Football Federation, is backed by 12 nations, including Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Israel’s Response:

The Israeli Football Association (IFA) strongly opposes the proposed ban, arguing that sport and politics should not be intertwined. They emphasized their right to participate in international competitions, including their current pursuit of qualification for the European Championship.

UEFA’s Position:

The European governing body acknowledged receiving the letter but clarified that they haven’t considered or intended to exclude Israeli teams. However, a final decision might need to be made by their elected executive committee.

Key Points of the Letter:

The letter, addressed to all national football federations and regional confederations, including its recipient, condemns the casualties among civilians in Gaza, including athletes and officials.

It further condemns the destruction of sports infrastructure and calls for the isolation of the IFA from football-related activities until the conflict ceases.

Olive Branch Extended:

Despite opposing the ban, the IFA demonstrated a desire for peace by wishing Jordan, a signatory to the letter, good luck in their upcoming Asian Cup final.

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