By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
  1. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
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    #1 Bill Archer, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017

    FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

    By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
    The cardinal rule at FIFA, the one inviolate principle, has always been that they don't engage in politics.

    Unfortunately for them, and perhaps ultimately for all of us, politics is now refusing to return the favor.

    And to the extent that it was ever really true to begin with - which is more than a little debatable - after Thursday they probably won't even be able to make the claim any longer.

    The first thing you need to note about this week's Gala FIFA Congress and associated whorefest in Manama, Bahrain is that it was supposed to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    The hosting site had to be changed when the government refused to allow representatives of the Israel FA into their pristine little nation.

    Noting in passing that they had no problems whatsoever with, say, the North Korean concentration camp monitors, Iranian homosexual executors or Sierra Leonean Blood Diamond child slavers - to say nothing of the guys who seem to have founded "settlements" in the Crimea - I'll only point out that Amnesty International, for one, has some things to say about human rights abuse much closer to Malaysia than the Palatinate.

    MUCH closer, if you get my drift.

    Anyway, the Asian Confederation offered up Bahrain as a substitute and before you could say "imprisoned, deported, and tortured for defaming the Bahraini regime", the most expensive restaurants in Manama were bringing in additional foreign slaves to handle the anticipated extra business.

    All of which serves as the prelude to the explosion of a time bomb which started ticking in 1974 when the AFC voted to expel the Israel FA. For the next 20 years, the IFA was not affiliated with any Confederation, although they did participate in occasional, awkward World Cup qualifiers against various regions including, oddly, Oceania one time.

    Finally, in 1992 UEFA, under President Lennart Johansson, admitted the IFA to what is nominally Europe's Confederation. While this might seem to be something of a reach, I'd point out that UEFA has several "trans-continental" members, (including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Russia) and includes at least one other "Asian" nation (Kazakhstan).

    At the time it was a fairly non-controversial move; everybody needs to be part of a confederation, Israelis more or less culturally European, Asian teams refused to play them any time, anywhere and they were - are - never likely to cause many European national team managers a lot of sleepless nights.

    Argentina they ain't.

    Which brings us to the current problem, which is that on Thursday the FIFA Congress will most likely be asked to, in effect, toss Israel out.

    You may recall that, a few years back, there was a huge kerfuffle over "free movement" for Palestinian players and officials across Israeli checkpoints. Not that there was a blanket ban or anything like it but players and - particularly - team officials kept showing up a databases of "dangerous hombres" (to borrow a phrase) and the border police would deny them crossing.

    The PFA stomped around demanding that Israel be sanctioned or suspended for this gross violation of blah, blah, blah and, much to his credit, Sepp Blatter and his technical staff did an absolutely superb job working with both sides - nobody AT ALL was completely in the right - to come up with compromise procedures that everybody could live with.

    So that's not the problem they're facing today.

    Technically, the new resolution submitted by the Palestinian Football Association is called "Request for official recognition of the PFA's entitlements to all of its rights as described in the FIFA Statutes" and, unless FIFA President Gianni Infantino is successful in his frantic efforts to get them to withdraw the motion, it will be voted on by the entire membership sometime Thursday afternoon.

    Specifically, the "right" the PFA wants FIFA to grant them is the one contained in article 72.2 of the FIFA Statutes: “Member associations and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member association.”

    And the Israel FA currently sanctions six teams which play in what world famous empty suit John Kerry would pull a very somber face and sonorously declare to be "settlements".

    The PFA wants FIFA to declare these to be illegal and immediately sanction and/or expel Israel unless they move or shut them down. The fact that Palestine, whatever else it may be, is not an actual nation and thus has no internationally agreed upon borders to violate cuts no mustard.

    [​IMG]

    For their part, the IFA points out that the settlements in question (Kiryat Arba, Givat Zeev, Maaleh Adumim, Ariel, Oranit and Tomer, if you're interested) were built in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where, according to the Oslo accords, Israel has full security and administrative control and should not be deemed unlawful.

    Trying to argue this on the merits has been driving far better people than I crazy for decades, and I'm not even going to try, except to say that a) it's just some (very) minor league soccer games (NPSL would be a fair analogy) played before virtually nobody and, really, who gives a crap and b) despite what the PFA is loudly proclaiming, this is not a violation of anyone's "human rights". It's just some guys running around in short pants sweating out the beer.

    Some will undoubtedly see it otherwise. Fair enough.

    FIFA has been working mightily to defuse this particular bomb for years now as the PFA has repeatedly threatened to bring a motion to the floor, as is the right of every federation, almost every time a Congress has been held.

    A year ago, at the Infantino election, they fully intended to do just that and were only talked down when even their AFC partners, all of whom are more or less in their corner, convinced them that the optics were terrible what with FIFA trying to emerge from the all the scandals and needing happy, positive headlines.

    Back in 2015, Blatter did a typically Blatterish thing and established a high level committee to investigate the issues and come up with a solution. Our old pal Tokyo Sexwale was named Chairman, based on his ever-handy association with Nelson Mandela and their shared prison yard at Robben Island SA. He's all about the human rights.

    Coincidentally, his committee's charter expires this week. They've met and traveled and consulted and traveled and met and met and met. In fact, Sexwale met with both sides (separately) last week and was scheduled to meet with them again today.

    Nobody can say the guy hasn't tried, but the fact is that mediating Middle East peace is a problem which has stumped the worlds finest minds for several generations now. Our man Tokyo can hardly be blamed for not cracking it.

    Many observers - Human Rights Watch among them - are pointing to the example of the Russian invasion of the Crimea as a corollary. The Russian FA under the ubiquitous Valeri Mutko, Boy Steroid King, immediately folded the three Crimean professional teams into the Russian second division. FIFA and UEFA refused to accept this and, as a result, Russia created a new Crimean league with the three old teams and five (formerly amateur) ones and made it a FIFA third division league.

    (There is no truth to the rumor that the Sevastopol Cosmos immediately threatened to sue over being denied the right to play in a first division or that Ted Westerveltovich has begun a campaign to allow promotion/relegation as the only path to Crimean football success).

    It's hard to find fault in the position taken by a German cross-party group (the Green Party’s Volker Beck, Gitta Connemann from the Christian Democratic Union, Michaele Englemeier and Kerstin Griese from the Social Democrats and Jan Korte from the Left Party) who wrote to Infantino this week saying, in part:

    “The announcement by the president of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, after a failed attempt in 2015, to again submit an application to exclude the Israel Football Association, shows he is misusing the sport for his own personal ideology."

    “It is important that FIFA recognize that the entire Palestinian- Israeli question should be examined as a political whole whose solution cannot be a function of sport....

    “The glorification of terrorism by the use of racism, antisemitism and discrimination of Israel’s teams undermines the sustainability of the FIFA statutes that call for a fair and peaceful sport..."

    They concluded:

    "Sport should not be misused as a political game"

    For his part, PFA President Rajoub has no business lecturing anyone on human rights.

    He's the former head of the Palestinian Authorities' Secret Police and would still be serving a prison sentence for bombings if he hadn't been included in a prisoner exchange.

    He regularly names soccer competitions in honor of famous Jew killers such as PLO founder Khalil al-Wazir who, according to Palestinian sources, was behind the deaths of more than 120 Israelis, lauded recent terror attacks as “individual acts of bravery” and noted that “he is proud” of the perpetrators, openly compares Israeli Jews to "Satan" and publicly encourages and applauds the abduction and murder of Israeli citizens.

    And that leaves aside the inconvenient $250 million US lawsuit which was recently filed by the family of one Azam Rahim, a Palestinian-American who, on September 29, 1995 was arrested by Preventive Security officials under Rajoub's orders, taken to a security facility and tortured to death.

    This is the guy we're supposed to take lectures on morality from.

    The FIFA Council will reportedly review Sexwale's findings today but there's not much chance of them holding any kind of a vote. They're lazy, overpaid stooges but they're not crazy.

    Infantino is reportedly working his ass off to find a way to avoid holding a vote on Thursday. If he's unsuccessful, then we'll get to see a rare occurrence indeed:

    Sunil Gulati locking himself in a men's room. He may have a lot of company.
     

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Bill Archer, May 9, 2017.

    1. Pablo Chicago

      Pablo Chicago Member+

      Sep 7, 2005
      Sweet Home Chicago
      Club:
      Chicago Fire
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      This will be a non-issue once Jared solves the whole Middle East conflict problem. [Insert sarcastic smiley face here]
       
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    2. Cliveworshipper

      Cliveworshipper Member+

      Dec 3, 2006

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM

      It's not that hard...
       
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    3. Sudžuka

      Sudžuka Moderator
      Staff Member

      Jan 27, 2013

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Not even bigsoccer is safe from pro-occupation garbage propaganda based solely off whataboutism.
       
    4. TheLostUniversity

      Feb 4, 2007
      Greater Boston
      Club:
      --other--
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Not even bigsoccer moderators are immune from pro-torturer garbage propaganda based solely off whatboutism.
       
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    5. Nico Limmat

      Nico Limmat Moderator
      Staff Member

      Oct 24, 1999
      Dubai, UAE
      Club:
      Grasshopper Club Zürich
      Country:
      Switzerland

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Does the Palestinian FA use the Israeli settlement clubs for political purposes? Absolutely. Should this particular can have been kicked down the road for all these years? Absolutely not.

      Once you strip away emotion it is a clear-cut matter. The Palestinian FA is right about the Israeli FA affiliated clubs in the West Bank. UEFA swiftly dealt with the Crimean situation (the obvious precedent) and FIFA should have done the same. FIFA completely dropped the ball here and allowed the situation to escalate. And before someone brings up Morocco playing in Western Sahara that comparison does not apply because Western Sahara is not a FIFA member.

      Palestine however is and needs to have a clearly defined territory over which it has jurisdiction. It only makes sense here to go with the majority-international view of the borders (further reinforced by the UN resolution in December) that clearly defines the West Bank as Palestinian land.

      Give the Israeli FA six months to remove these teams from its structure (as proposed by Sexwale) and there is your fair solution.
       
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    6. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
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      Los Angeles Sol
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      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Wait, we're blaming the Juice? What's OJ done now?

      (Because you don't want to hear my opinion on the actual politics of this issue, trust me)
       
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    7. Dr. Gamera

      Dr. Gamera Member+

      Oct 13, 2005
      Wheaton, Maryland

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      But Israel is much closer to Malaysia than the Palatinate is. The Palatinate is more or less centered on Kaiserslautern, Germany, where the well-known USA 1-1 Italy match was played in the 2006 World Cup.
       
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    8. It's called FOOTBALL

      May 4, 2009

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      I do.
       
    9. Skandal!!!

      Skandal!!! Member

      Legia Warszawa
      Poland
      Apr 26, 2017

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      FIFA and "Human Rights" - ahahahaha. Please stop, when whole bunch of countries with suspicious "human rights" record belong and actively participate in it...
       
    10. Bigrose30

      Bigrose30 Member+

      Sep 11, 2004
      Jersey City, NJ

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Ted Westerveltovich sounds much more likable than his American namesake.
       
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    11. Anthony

      Anthony Member

      Aug 20, 1999
      Chicago
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      I still think the solution would have been to elect Mitt Romney president of FIFA. He is not a soccer guy, but he has experience with the sports bureaucracy and dealing with sports corruption.
       
    12. (De La)Redstriker06

      May 3, 2003
      Club:
      Montreal Impact
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      This post dismisses a valid point brought forth by the PFA because:
      1. FIFA is corrupt

      2. They decided to hold their conference in Bahrain

      3. Incorrect classification as Area C of the West Bank being part of Israel's sovereign territory- which the United Nations and even the United States do not recognize.

      4. Completely ignoring and belittling the unjust hardship Palestinian players and officials encounter for no reason other than for the fact that they're Palestinian living under foreign military occupation.

      5. Jibril Rajoub- who Palestinian players, referees, and coaches did not choose as PFA and Olympic president- has a very questionable and violent past.

      The merits of the complaint? Completely valid. If there's any party guilty of getting involved Politically its the Israeli government who pulled all diplomatic levers to get FIFA to delay a decision again.
       
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    13. Nico Limmat

      Nico Limmat Moderator
      Staff Member

      Oct 24, 1999
      Dubai, UAE
      Club:
      Grasshopper Club Zürich
      Country:
      Switzerland

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Just watched this display of incompetence unfold on the live stream of the FIFA Congress. Basically Infantino and the FIFA Council blocked the vote with a motion out of nowhere and instead asked Congress to give authority to the Council to make a decision by March 2018. The PFA lawyer then took the floor and questioned whether the Council can do that at the last minute but Infantino brushed him aside. Congress passed the motion and Infantino said the Council will attempt to expedite a decision by October (putting blame for the delay so far on Sexwale's unfinished report).

      The cowardice at FIFA is truly astounding. This could have been nipped in the bud years ago. It is such a simple decision to take. Abide by your statutes. Palestine is a FIFA member. You can not accept a member association without respecting the internationally recognized borders of the territory. Otherwise don't take them in.

      If I am the PFA I am taking this straight to the CAS for arbitration.
       
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    14. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Then Russia should be kicked out of FIFA. I mean, what happens if they decide to hold matches in 2018 in Sevastopol?? Wouldn't shock me if Putin tried to pull that off.

      The reality is that there are no current "internationally recognized borders" for a Palestinian state. There certainly were none when Palestine was accepted. Whether that's right or not, I'll not argue. But that's the facts on the ground.
       
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    15. megadeath

      megadeath Member

      Oct 10, 2009

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Call me crazy but If Britain can leave the EU, why can't the Germanys, Brazils, France, and Argentina of the world just leave the mess of FIFA behind and start a new football federation ?

      Have stricter membership requirements.
       
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    16. Nico Limmat

      Nico Limmat Moderator
      Staff Member

      Oct 24, 1999
      Dubai, UAE
      Club:
      Grasshopper Club Zürich
      Country:
      Switzerland

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      As mentioned previously, the Russian FA did try to absorb Crimean club football only to be told off by UEFA. Instead a semi-official "Crimean league" was created outside the proper UEFA structure. The Israeli clubs in the West Bank settlements could do the same and that would solve the issue. If this was an intra-UEFA matter like the Crimean conflict I am positive we would have a similar ruling by now. It is the obvious precedent that FIFA should be using.

      I strongly disagree. Just about the entire world (including the US) agrees that 1967 borders ought to be considered as Palestinian territory until a final peace agreement is reached with Israel. This includes the West Bank in its entirety. This consensus has been in place for decades well before Palestine was admitted as a FIFA member in 1998. It also appears that these settlement clubs did not exist at the date of admission.

      International Recognition of Palestine:
      [​IMG]

      I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that if a country went through the trouble of formally recognizing Palestine (something Israel detests) that they did it with the 1967 borders in mind. And that is all that matters in this particular FIFA matter. Majority consensus. There is no security council protection a la UN in the FIFA Congress and had this vote proceeded today I have no doubt the Israeli FA would have been told to leave the West Bank.

      Infantino's interference saved the IFA from embarrassment.
       
    17. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
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      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      There's still quite a bit of discussion about the status of Jerusalem, however. And of course, many of the entities you cite really think that the Palestinian borders are the whole of the area and that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth--if not a majority. Good luck with that. That said, being this concerned about what is essentially a very minor league is more about politics than anything else. Not soccer.

      And I think Bill makes a fair point about the way the other federations have treated Israel through the years--long before the Six-Day War.
       
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    18. Nico Limmat

      Nico Limmat Moderator
      Staff Member

      Oct 24, 1999
      Dubai, UAE
      Club:
      Grasshopper Club Zürich
      Country:
      Switzerland

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Of course it is about politics. So take away the platform and take a bloody decision! The "Crimean solution" is the best way to solve this. The settlement communities get to keep their clubs while the territorial integrity of the PFA doesn't get violated. Make it happen FIFA.
       
    19. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      My guess is that the general assembly of FIFA would not go for that--I think they want Israel kicked out. And have the votes for it. And I'll still not be surprised if Putin tries to put games in the Crimea.
       
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    20. Diana Shelly

      Diana Shelly New Member

      Brazil
      Brazil
      May 11, 2017

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      Right...
       
    21. Nico Limmat

      Nico Limmat Moderator
      Staff Member

      Oct 24, 1999
      Dubai, UAE
      Club:
      Grasshopper Club Zürich
      Country:
      Switzerland
      #22 Nico Limmat, May 11, 2017
      Last edited: May 11, 2017

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      No. If that were the case Congress would have rejected Infantino's proposal today (there was a vote on it) and insisted on voting on the original PFA motion. Not everyone is out to get Israel but these settlements in the West Bank go against the grain of most including Israel's closest allies. That view would certainly be reflected in a theoretical Congress vote on the status of these clubs.

      But this never should have reached Congress. The simple solution was and still is obvious.
       
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    22. adi21

      adi21 Member

      Mar 17, 2001
      N.Y.
      Club:
      New York Red Bulls
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      I've noticed your Swiss living in Dubai UAE , so much for your impartiality and creditability .
       
    23. Nico Limmat

      Nico Limmat Moderator
      Staff Member

      Oct 24, 1999
      Dubai, UAE
      Club:
      Grasshopper Club Zürich
      Country:
      Switzerland
      #24 Nico Limmat, May 13, 2017
      Last edited: May 13, 2017

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      I see. So my nationality and place of residence exclude me from having an opinion.

      I have backed up my reasoning every step of the way. Why don't you tell us how you would solve this sports-governance conflict? Start by defining the West Bank settlements as the following:

      A. Palestinian Land
      B. Disputed Territory
      C. Israeli Land

      The first two choices imply that these six teams should not be part of the Israeli FA structure.

      And if "C" is your choice, tell us what kind of international support this stance has.
       
    24. adi21

      adi21 Member

      Mar 17, 2001
      N.Y.
      Club:
      New York Red Bulls
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Poised to Implode; Let's Blame the Jooz Edition

      By Bill Archer on May 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM
      I stand by my OPINION . Just one question : do you consider PFA President Rajoub a terrorist ?
       

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