WJC President Ronald S. Lauder welcomes FIFA Council’s move to defer decision on Israel’s football association

May 10, 2017 Agencies
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World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has commended the executive council of the international football association, FIFA, for deferring its decision on the standing of the Israeli Football Association.

The council made its announcement shortly after the chairman of the Monitoring Committee on Israel-Palestine, Tokyo Sexwale, presented his report and recommendations on the matter ahead of the FIFA Congress in Bahrain.

“On behalf of the World Jewish Congress, I commend the FIFA Council for recognising that the ongoing conflict between the Israeli and Palestinian football associations is a complicated matter deserving of more time and consideration, and for understanding that decisions of this nature must not be made rashly or prematurely.

“Politics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have no place in sport – these are issues meant for the negotiating table, not the football field. FIFA’s position as the most prominent regulatory body in the sporting world, one which bridges divides between countries and peoples, must be safeguarded. By keeping politics out of football, FIFA’s central role in the effort to promote respect among nations through sports will be secured.”

Lauder also praised Sexwale, with whom he spoke by telephone last week, for his thorough work in preparing his report and recommendations on the issue. “I deeply appreciate Mr. Sexwale’s commitment to finding a fair and equitable solution, and know that his recommendations on this issue follow careful and thorough considerations. I look forward to future cooperation with Mr. Sexwale and with FIFA, and am optimistic that in the near future, the international community will recognise that the spirit of sport must remain free of politics.”

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