31 May 2014
The scene is set at next month’s World Cup in Brazil for showdown between Israel and Palestine that will be off the pitch given that neither qualified for one of the world’s most important sporting events.
The looming battle in the congress in Sao Paolo of world soccer body FIFA reflects Palestinian efforts to isolate Israel internationally and undermine its legitimacy in the wake of the breakdown of stillborn peace negotiations as well as Israeli concern that growing opposition to its policy toward the Palestinians constitutes potentially as great a threat as Iran becoming a nuclear power.
The campaign by the Palestine Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas to gain recognition as a state by joining a multitude of United Nations organizations and pushing for condemnation of Israel if not suspension of Israeli membership includes an effort by the Palestine Football Federation (PFF) to sanction Israel for obstructing Palestinian soccer.
… James M. Dorsey is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is also co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
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