Stop the War: Has the FIFA corruption crisis saved Israel from vote to expel it from world football?

Stop the War: Has the FIFA corruption crisis saved Israel from vote to expel it from world football?

In May 2015 Stop the War posted an article that made an causal link between FIFA corruption and Israel.

The article has now been deleted, but you can find an archived version of it here:

Geoff Lee of the campaign Red Card Israeli Racism and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, wrote this piece explaining why Israel should be “kicked out of world football.” The title and subtitle hint at a conspiricism so often found with pieces about Israel and which the main text does nothing to substantiate. In this case it draws a connection between the timing of the FIFA corruption scandal and its apparent benefit to Israel at the 65th FIFA Congress.

The main problem with this is that the attempted vote it described wasn’t ‘abandoned’. The Palestinians altered their approach and put forward a different motion with more limited aims. It was voted on and it passed. The FIFA corruption scandal apparently had nothing to do with this. The fact that Lee doesn’t try to make the case alluded to in the title strongly suggests that the unsubstantiated hint of conspiracy was itself the aim.

The rest of the article uses partial information and tenuous logical leaps to paint Israel as targeting Palestinian football or as analogous to South Africa during its years outside of international sport. For example, any Palestinian killed/wounded by Israeli forces, who happened to have played football at some point, is included as an example of Israel attacking Palestinian football. Lee suggests that any restriction of movement due to Israeli security checks is also an attack on football via the fact that some Palestinians are football players.

FIFA’s Statute 3 is against discrimination and racism by its member groups. Lee’s claim is that the Israeli government is racist and that the Israeli Football Federation receives government funding, therefore the football federation is complicit in the actions of its government and therefore is in breach of Statute 3. If the article had merely stuck to repeating the case for Israeli expulsion it would be worth challenging with honest disagreement. However, the entirely misleading title and subtitle push it into the realms of antisemitic trope.

David Paxton

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About soupyone

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