Palestinians back off demand to exclude Israeli soccer from FIFA

The Palestinian delegate to the international football association JIbril Rajoub Friday dropped the bid to bar Israel from international football, in response to pressure from dozens of national delegations. In a last-minute amendment to the Palestinian proposal, he called on the delegates to vote instead on setting up a monitoring mechanism to oversee Israel’s treatment of Palestinian soccer players. Earlier, the Palestinians rejected a four-point Israeli compromise granting Palestinian players substantial privileges and freedom of movement.

UEFA president Michel Platini said the Israeli proposal “satisfies and contributes meaningfully to improving the situation.” He said “Israel has not violated any [FIFA] regulation, and there is no cause for suspending it. I am convinced FIFA will adopt Israel’s proposal.”
Israel’s delegate to FIFA Ofer Eni advised Rajoub to “leave politics to politicians” and invited him to the podium shake hands. The Palestinian refused.

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