February 5 – Jordanian president of the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, in a powerful letter has written to FIFA and its federation members calling for united action to “isolate” Israel for its military action in Gaza.
“The situation in Palestine demands our immediate attention and concerted action as a football community. It is with a sense of profound responsibility and commitment to the principles of human rights, justice, and peace that we implore your engagement in this crucial matter,” said Prince Ali in his letter.
Jordan shares a border with the Palestinian West Bank and Israel, and even before the current crisis had provide a home for an estimated 3 million Palestinian refugees, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Citing the United Nations’ stance on Gaza and the genocide investigations by the International Court of Justice Prince Ali called for an “unequivocal and resolute response from the global football community” citing the principles in article 3 of the FFIA statutes and the FIFA Human Rights Policy.
The principles “echo our shared commitment to promoting and protecting these rights”, said Prince Ali.
Prince Ali is an internationally respected figure in world football having previously served on FIFA’s old executive committee as well as twice standing for the FIFA presidency. His withdrawal from the FIFA presidential race in 2016 where he had the support of the US Soccer Federation, saw his voting block switch to support Gianni Infantino, giving him the votes needed to win the presidency on the second ballot.
Since then Infantino has overseen a World Cup in the Middle East, even moving his family to Qatar, though ahead of the 2026 World Cup, Infantino has now relocated again, with his family, to Miami, Florida.
The US is a staunch supporter of Israel’s action in Gaza and with the delicacy of the geo-politics, and the complete silence from FIFA on the Gaza situation to date, it will be a test of Infantino’s respect of his own organisation’s statutes, as well as his basic human decency.
Infantino does not have a good record of support for Palestine. He famously denied the Palestinian Football Association a Congress vote to expel six Israeli Football League clubs that play on illegal settlements in the West Bank in 2017, following a lobbying call from Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu.
It is another uncomfortable moment for Infantino and FIFA.
“We, the West Asian Football Federations, encompassing all its members, call upon FIFA, the Football Confederations, and Member Associations to join us in taking a decisive stand against the atrocities committed in Palestine and the war crimes in Gaza, by condemning the killing of innocent civilians including players, coaches, referees, and officials, the destruction of the football infrastructure, and taking a united front in isolating the Israeli Football Association from all football-related activities until these acts of aggression cease,” said Prince Ali.
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