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

NEW YORK - World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder 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 recognizing 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 recognize that the spirit of sport must remain free of politics.”

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Eddy Randrup

Tue, 16 May 2017

Politics should not be allowed to contaminate the purity of sport competitions. I am surprised that they even allow to discuss political issues in the sports world.

Carl Cherkin

Tue, 09 May 2017

I heartily concur. Not just as a supporter of Israel, but as someone who has been involved in sports my whole career. Currently an executive in Major League Soccer I applaud FIFA for taking a measured approach to this potentially volatile issue. Sports helped bridge the gap & avert a disaster when Nelson Mandela assumed power in South Africa, perhaps someday the leaders in the Middle East can leverage soccer to hopefully help bridge the gaps in trust there.


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