FIFA has been criticized by Palestinian footballers, officials and fans for not taking action against Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of more than 31,000 people, including 13,000 children, according to health officials. There are growing calls from Palestinians and their supporters for FIFA to resolve the situation with Israel, which has been compared to FIFA’s swift decision to ban Russia and Russian football clubs following their invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

Despite Russia’s strong position in the Qatar 2022 World Cup play-offs, FIFA eliminated them outright in response to their invasion of Ukraine, a decision upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. However, as the conflict in Gaza continues, FIFA has remained silent on the issue, prompting increasing calls for action that would lead to Israel’s Road B playoff final in Euro 2024 qualifiers.

The play-off match, in which Iceland defeated Israel 4-1, was played on a neutral ground in Budapest, Hungary due to the ongoing conflict. FIFA confirmed it had received requests for comment from Al Jazeera but has yet to respond to queries. FIFA’s lack of action has only strengthened the plea for the governing body to take a stand against Israel’s national football team amidst war in Gaza.

In a show of solidarity, a soccer fan held up a sign outside Manchester City stadium calling for action against Israel in light of ongoing conflict in Gaza. The feeling among Palestinian footballers is one of frustration and disappointment at FIFA’s failure to take action against Israel amidst ongoing crisis.

By Samantha Johnson

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