On Thursday, UEFA Secretary-General Theodore Theodoridis declared that Israel will not face a ban from playing in European football competitions. This decision comes in response to a call for a boycott of the Israeli team in global games by 12 countries, following the Israel-Hamas war, as reported by Sky News.
Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, President of the West Asian Football Federation, and half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, urged the 211 national football federations and six regional confederations in a letter to align with his stance. He called for a united condemnation of the atrocities in Palestine, war crimes in Gaza, and emphasized the need to isolate the Israeli Football Association from all football-related activities until the acts of aggression cease, including the killing of innocent civilians and the destruction of football infrastructure.
The Israeli FA responds
In response to the call for Israel’s suspension from FIFA and international tournaments by a few associations, Moshe Zu-Aretz, the head of the Israeli Football Association, expressed that the move was expected and characterized it as cynical and shameless. He stated to Israeli media, “The Football Association, along with supportive and just allies in FIFA, UEFA, and other global confederations and associations, will spearhead a battle against dark forces, preventing significant harm to the State of Israel and its football.”
Regarding comparisons to the FIFA ban on Russia after its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, UEFA Secretary-General Theodore Theodoridis clarified that there were no discussions or intentions within the UEFA administration for a similar action against Israel.