The human rights organization called on FIFA to fulfill its human rights responsibilities. FIFA should require its affiliate, the Israel Football Association (IFA), which is conducting business in unlawful settlements that are off-limits to Palestinians, to move all FIFA-sanctioned games and activities inside Israel, the rights group said. According to a research conducted by Human Rights Watch, there are six football clubs that are members of the IFA and whose official home fields are located in Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank.
“Newly-elected FIFA President Gianni Infantino took office pledging to steer FIFA out of the human rights and corruption scandals of recent years, so that fans and players can focus on the “beautiful game” of football. Doing business in the settlements is inconsistent with these commitments.” “By holding games on stolen land, FIFA is tarnishing the beautiful game of football,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch.
“FIFA has new leadership and has made new commitments to human rights this year. FIFA should step up now to give settlement clubs a red card and insist the Israel Football Association play by the rules.”