Palestinians abandon bid to have Israel banned from FIFA

Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub addresses the FIFA Congress on May 29, 2015 (screen capture: FIFA)

The Palestinian delegation to FIFA on Friday dropped a motion to have the Israeli soccer federation suspended from international football amid pressure from dozens of national delegates.

Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub submitted a last-minute amendment to the proposal, eliminating the demand for ban, and told the Congress that “a lot of colleagues” had asked him not to call for Israel’s suspension.

“Palestine has not withdrawn it’s application completely, but merely suspended it,” he added. “A lot of colleagues, whom I respect and whose commitment to the ethics and values of the game I appreciate, told me how painful it is to hear of the issue of suspension.

“But I want to protect the Palestinian footballers, to let them enjoy the privilege of the game as others do”…