Full text of Tokyo Sexwale Chairman’s report to FIFA on Palestine-Israel

Daoud Kuttab
Oct 28, 2017 · 32 min read

X-Ib/2017/961

FIFA Monitoring Committee:
Israel-Palestine

Report by Committee Chairman Mr Tokyo Sexwale

FIFA Council №4
Kolkata, 27 October 2017

Table of Contents

1) Background information 3

2) The establishment of the Monitoring Committee 5

3) Work of the Monitoring Committee 7

4) Relevant articles of the FIFA Statutes 13

5) Recommended options for FIFA Council 14

6) Concluding remarks 15

7) Annexures 16

Annexure of comments of the Israel Football Association

Annexure of comments of the Palestine Football Association

Annexure of comments of other members of the committee

1. Background Information

1.1. It is extremely vital that the leadership of FIFA and other stakeholders should have some background information concerning the situation between Israel and Palestine. For the purpose of this report this is necessary in order to enable the FIFA leadership in Council and/or at Congress to make an informed football centred decision in the midst of what is clearly a volatile, historical and political conflict. This is because in this Middle-East situation, FIFA, a global football organisation, finds itself caught up in one of the most complex of conflicts in modern history.

1.2. Due to the above it is hereby recommended that the FIFA legal department should provide, when needed, FIFA´s own legal position on the matter.

1.3. This conflict is related to the land ownership question between the two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians which has from time to time seen the outbreak of hostilities and war over a long historical period.

1.4. There have also been several attempts to facilitate a peaceful agreement by world leaders. The most significant attempt was in the context of the Oslo Accords (1990s), where dialogue between Yizhak Rabin, Simon Peres and Yaser Arafat resulted in Nobel Prizes for Peace. Yet the conflict still remains. It would therefore be misplaced to expect that FIFA, a football organisation, should provide a solution where some of the best minds have failed.

1.5. As a result of the Oslo Accords (Annexure A), the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established, comprising of the West Bank and Gaza. Additionally, the parties (Israel and the PA) resolved to negotiate a final peace agreement based on the framework of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 242 and 338 (Annexures B and C).

1.6. The Oslo Accords established that certain elements, the “final topics” including the Two State Solution — one Israeli, one Palestinian — should be negotiated between the parties in the final peace agreement. The “final topics” include: security, borders and settlements amongst others (Annexure D).

1.7. As a result of the Oslo Accords, the parties created three zones on the West Bank:
• Zone A: Under full political and security control of the PA.
• Zone B: Civil control of the PA and Israeli security control.
• Zone C: Controlled entirely by Israel.
1.8. Talks for a negotiated final agreement have gone on and off over a period without resolution. Although the “Two-State solution” seems to be generally accepted by both parties, the problem appears to be and still remains its implementation. On 23 December 2016 the UNSC adopted Resolution 2334 in the context of this Israel-Palestine issue (Annexure E).

1.9. It is noteworthy that FIFA, domiciled in Switzerland, and as a citizen of the world, is not an island by itself; and should not be unmindful of its global obligations in terms of international law and relevant agreed-upon international protocols including its own statutes with regards to the promotion and development of football.

1.10. In this light, in 1998 FIFA gave recognition for FIFA membership to the Palestinian Football Association (PFA). Thus, the PFA administers football in an area which although is recognised by many within the international community is not yet recognised by Israel as an independent State.

1.11. Consequently, FIFA´s major challenge is that because association football is played on a football pitch, which requires land upon which football playing fields are built, the lack of a solution for the Israel-Palestine issue affects the play and enjoyment of the game of football.

2. The establishment of the FIFA Monitoring Committee

2.1. The situation of football in Palestine was discussed during the 63rd FIFA Congress in Mauritius in 2013. The PFA referred particularly to the issue of free movement of footballers (Annexure F) and the FIFA Congress mandated the FIFA President to find solutions to the problems faced by the PFA.

2.2. The 64TH FIFA Congress in São Paulo in 2014 accepted the proposal of the FIFA President to appoint an independent person or committee to monitor the progress made and to submit a report to the executive committee (Annexure G).

2.3. During the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich in 2015, the PFA, in addition to its previous concerns, raised the issue of five Israeli clubs that were playing under the Israel Football Association (IFA) on the territories under discussion (Annexure H), and called for the suspension of the IFA, a proposal which it subsequently withdrew in view of the decision by the FIFA Congress to establish the Tokyo Sexwale headed FIFA Monitoring Committee: Israel-Palestine.

2.4. Thus, the FIFA Monitoring Committee: Israel-Palestine was established as a result of the quest to contribute to a cordial understanding between the IFA and the PFA, and to find a football related solution to the five Israeli clubs playing on the territories under discussion as well as the movement of players, officials and football equipment in, out and within Palestine.

2.5. The five Israeli clubs playing in the settlements are:
• Hapoel Bik´at Hayarden — 3rd division (Bik´at Hayarden settlement).
• Beitar Ironi Ma´aleh Adumim — 4th division (Ma´aleh Adumim settlement).
• Beitar Givat Ze´ev — 4th division (Givat Ze´ev settlement).
• FC Ironi Ariel — 5th division (Ariel settlement)
• Elitzur Ironi Yehuda — 5th division (Kiryat Arba settlement) (Annexure I).

2.6. The PFA has strongly argued that the majority of the international community considers that these territories belong to Palestine, and that several UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice (2004) also determined that the territories are Palestinian (Annexure J).

2.7. The IFA has also strongly argued that the clubs concerned are located in “Area C”, which according to the Oslo Accords is a territory that remains under full political and military control of Israel until the final and permanent agreement between both parties is negotiated.

2.8. Following his update to the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico in 2016, Congress accepted the Chairman´s proposal to also engage with the governing authorities of Israel and Palestine in order to endeavour to resolve the more complex matter of the five Israeli clubs playing on the territories under discussion (Annexure K).

3. Work of the Monitoring Committee

The work of the committee has been divided into the following four categories:

3.1. Meetings of the Monitoring Committee

3.1.1. Kick off meeting in Zurich on 26 August 2015 (Annexure L)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.1.1. Composition: will include the chairman Tokyo Sexwale, the IFA General Secretary Rotem Kamer, the IFA Legal Counsel Efraïm Barak, the PFA Director of the International Department Susan Shalabi Molano, the PFA Legal Counsel Gonzalo Boye and two representatives of the FIFA Congress from CONCACAF, CONMEBOL or the OFC to be designated shortly. On the proposal by the chairman, the committee also agreed to have a representative from UEFA and AFC, where the IFA and PFA are affiliated.

3.1.1.2. The two additional committee members shall be acceptable to both IFA and PFA.

3.1.2. Meeting №1 in Tel Aviv on 2 October 2015 (Annexure M)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.2.1. Composition: two members representing the FIFA Congress were selected; Juan Angel Napout (President of CONMEBOL) and Victor Montagliani (President of the Canada Soccer Association).

3.1.2.2. Mandate: the chairman explained, through a problem statement, that the mandate of this committee is:

a) The question of movement (persons, goods, commodities) in, out, and within Palestine, which has that far been coordinating through the efforts of the Local Support Unit (LSU), a technical entity which has been managing the issues around the question of movement;
b) The issue of the five Israeli clubs playing in the territories;

3.1.2.3. Local Support Unit (LSU): It was agreed that both IFA and PFA are to attend the next committee meeting with concrete proposals related to the work of the LSU — for example by ways of a spreadsheet — in terms of timeline, speeding up of the permit applications procedure, realistic short, mid and long term gains.
3.1.2.4. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs playing football on the territories under discussion: it was agreed that this very sensitive issue required more time to do research and preparation and would therefore be discussed at the next meeting of this committee. The chairman also added that he intended to discuss this matter with the relevant authorities in Israel and Palestine on this subject beforehand and will make relevant proposals at the next meeting.

3.1.3. Meeting №2 in Jericho on 16 December 2015 (Annexure N)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.3.1. Composition: the PFA delegation suggested replacing Mr Napout by the president of the Moroccan FA Mr Fouzi Lekjaa.

3.1.3.2. Minutes: a discussion took place regarding the minutes of the first meeting, as well as what exactly was decided at the FIFA Congress in May 2015. It was decided to set this issue aside for the time being as no agreement could be found on some specific issues.

3.1.3.3. LSU: the PFA presented a concept paper for the LSU and insisted that there would be an increase in permit applications in the future due to a unified football league. The IFA suggested a first meeting of the LSU to take place as soon as possible.

3.1.3.4. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs playing football on the territories under discussion: it was agreed that this very sensitive issue required for the chairman to contact the relevant governing authorities beforehand and would therefore be discussed at the next meeting of this committee.

3.1.4. Meeting №3 in Mexico on 10 May 2016 (Annexure O)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.4.1. LSU meetings: an update was provided regarding the work of the LSU and the progress achieved in terms of movement. The basic functions of an Information Technology System (IT system), which was mooted during the initial LSU meeting to facilitate the permit application procedure was also outlined. It was agreed that the implementation and application of this IT system would become a long-term mechanism between all parties.

3.1.4.2. Address to the FIFA Congress: the chairman explained and read the report he planned to give to FIFA President Gianni Infantino so that he could address the Congress directly. The report explained that progress had occurred in terms of movement but acknowledged that a solution still had to be found regarding the issue of the 5 Israeli clubs playing in the territories under discussion.

3.1.4.3. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs playing football on the territories under discussion: the committee discussed potential solutions for the topic of the 5 Israeli clubs playing on the territories under discussion and, specifically, the question of jurisdiction in these areas.

3.1.5. Meeting №4 in Zurich on 1 November 2016 (Annexure P)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.5.1. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs: it was agreed that FIFA should not attempt to define a political border between Israel and Palestine. As no final agreement could be reached on this point, it was decided that the parties would prepare football and not political solutions for the 5 clubs for the next meeting of the committee.

3.1.6. Meeting №5 in Zurich on 22 March 2017 (Annexure Q)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.6.1. Address to the FIFA Council: the chairman explained that he briefed the FIFA Council on 10 January 2017 regarding the latest updates on the issues that comprise the mandate of the committee and of the work that had been done since the FIFA Council meeting in October 2016.

3.1.6.2. LSU: the members were informed that at the last meeting of the LSU it was decided to use on a trial basis the prototype of the IT system.

3.1.6.3. Discussion on the draft Monitoring Committee report to be presented by the Chairman for consideration and/or approval: the Chairman of the committee tabled a draft report to the members of the committee. The members of the committee were given a deadline by the Chairman to send their comments to his draft report.

3.1.7. Meeting №6 in Manama on 9 May 2017 (Annexure R)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.7.1. Proposal of the PFA on the agenda of the FIFA Council: the chairman expressed his disappointment with the PFA regarding their inclusion on the agenda of the FIFA Council of a matter directly related to the committee without informing him or the rest of the members of the committee, and requested the PFA delegation to give an explanation to the committee. He insisted that he did not think that it was correct that he as chairman was left out and that the committee had been left out of the decision of the PFA. The PFA agreed that they could have informed the chairman before sending their proposal as a gesture of courtesy.

3.1.7.2. Discussion on the final report of the monitoring committee: the IFA stated that discussions on the draft of the report had not taken place and the committee needed time to finalise the report, and that the committee should try to find an agreement on the draft of the report. The PFA stated that they proposed their comments to the draft of the chairman, but that the IFA disagreed with the draft report on its entirety. Additionally, the PFA stated that the chairman should report to the FIFA Council that there is a draft report with comments.

3.1.8. Meeting №7 in Zurich on 25 July 2017 (Annexure S)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.8.1. Ratification of Minutes of the fifth and sixth meetings on 22 March and 9 May 2017: it was agreed that for the meetings that had been recorded (fifth, sixth and seventh), a full transcription would be requested and that in case of a discrepancy of the minutes of a meeting that had been recorded, the full transcription would prevail. It was also agreed that the meetings would reflect the decisions taken.

3.1.8.2. Discussion on the appeal submitted to CAS by the PFA against and/or related to the decision of the FIFA Congress of May 11, 2017: The IFA requested a copy of the appeal submitted to CAS by the PFA against the decision of the FIFA Congress of May 11, 2017. The chairman stated that he was uncomfortable with the PFA appeal to CAS. Particularly, he questioned why he was cited as a witness if the case is not related to the work of the committee, and that he would take this matter to the office of the Secretary General and to the legal department of FIFA.

3.1.8.3. Discussion on the Consolidated Report of the Monitoring Committee for consideration and/or approval: it was agreed that if there is no agreement on a final document that could be called “Consensus Report”, the final document would contain the “Chairman Report” with comments from the PFA and the IFA.

3.2. Meetings of the Local Support Unit

See Annexure T.

3.3. FIFA delegation missions to Israel and Palestine

3.3.1. A FIFA delegation led by Chairman Sexwale visited Israel and Palestine as part of the ongoing efforts by the Monitoring Committee to identify solutions to issues hindering the development of football in the region.

3.3.2. On 1 July 2016 the delegation visited Gaza where they could see first-hand the facilities of the Palestinian FA that were destroyed in 2014.

3.3.3. The FIFA delegation also met with representatives of the Israeli authorities, but the meeting with the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport, Mrs Miri Regev, originally planned for Thursday 30 June 2016 had to be rescheduled due to the many flight delays following the terror attack on Istanbul airport.

3.3.4. The delegation met representatives from the Israel and Palestinian football associations and Mr Sexwale had a meeting with the President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

3.3.5. On his visit, Mr Sexwale also announced a possible forthcoming trip to the region under appropriate conditions by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

3.3.6. The ‎Chairman also had separate meetings in November 2016 with Israel Prime Minister, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, and again with Palestinian Authority President, Mr Mahmoud Abbas. The objective of the discussions was to provide both leaders with an update of the work of the Monitoring Committee regarding two matters, namely the movement of people and football goods in and out of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the contentious question of the Israeli clubs playing in the settlements.

3.3.7. The Chairman and his delegation were always accompanied by members of either the Israel Football Association (IFA) or the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) where appropriated, who are also members of the monitoring committee.

3.3.8. As previously indicated, the chairman and his delegation finally conducted in-depth discussions with the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport in Jerusalem regarding the movement of people and goods and the issue of the clubs.

3.3.9. Other meetings which the FIFA delegation had were with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mr Rami Hamdallah, the Head of the Israeli opposition in the Knesset, Mr Isaac Herzog, and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr Nier Barkat.

3.4. Correspondence received

Numerous correspondence from across the world has been received by the chairman on behalf of the Monitoring Committee. Others were received by the FIFA President and by the FIFA Secretary General. The following organisations were amongst the institutions that sent correspondences:

3.4.1. Jewish Leadership Council
3.4.2. South African Jewish Board of Deputies
3.4.3. Jewish Community of Madrid
3.4.4. B´Nai B´Rith International
3.4.5. Australian/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council
3.4.6. Conseil Representatif des Institutions Juives de France
3.4.7. Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace
3.4.8. 68 Members of the European Parliament
3.4.9. Oxfam
3.4.10. Human Rights Watch
3.4.11. The Lawfare Project
3.4.12. European Jews for Just Peace
3.4.13. Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BDS)
3.4.14. Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (BfW)
3.4.15. Arab American Institute
3.4.16. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC)
3.4.17. Jewish Voice for Peace
3.4.18. European Middle East Project
3.4.19. And several more which are available on request

4. Relevant articles of the FIFA Statutes

4.1. Art. 3 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “FIFA is committed to respecting all internationally recognised human rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights.” (Annexure U).

4.2. Art. 11. 1 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “… Only one association shall be recognised as a member association in each country.”(Annexure V).

4.3. Art. 72.2 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “member associations and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member association without the latter´s approval”. (Annexure W).

4.4. Art. 73 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “associations, leagues or clubs that are affiliated to a member association may only join another member association or take part in competitions on that member association´s territory under exceptional circumstances. In each case, authorisation must be given by both member associations, the respective(s) confederation and by FIFA. (Annexure W).

5. Recommended Options for FIFA Council to consider

The task of the Monitoring Committee has been essentially about monitoring the situation in line with FIFA Congresses resolutions with the understanding that such functions included facilitating dialogue among various parties represented within the committee and all other relevant stakeholders. Having considered several alternatives, the following options are presented for the FIFA Council´s consideration and decision.

5.1. Option 1: Maintenance of the current Status Quo
The status quo remains in that the Israel Football Association continues to administer football on the territories under discussion (the settlements). Under this option it implies that there should be no action by FIFA until the Oslo discussions -or similar negotiations- involving facilitated or direct talks between the parties have resolved the Israel-Palestine conflict.

5.2. Option 2: FIFA warns IFA — Yellow Card
In line with article 72.2 of the FIFA Statues, which proclaim that member associations and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member association without the latter´s approval, the IFA is given a warning by FIFA (yellow card) to rectify this issue by desisting to administer football on the territories concerned within a minimum period of six months. Failure to find a resolution within this period shall mean that the matter will revert to the FIFA Council for final decision-making.

5.3. Option 3: Discussions should be encouraged between the IFA and the PFA
Continued discussions between the IFA and the PFA should be encouraged should be based purely on football issues aimed at finding accommodation on how to agree amongst themselves.

6. Concluding Remarks

6.1. The committee has dealt with two issues, the movement of people and goods in, out and within Palestine, and the issue of the five clubs playing on the territories under discussion. The aspect where the committee has covered most ground and has produced a positive reaction notwithstanding some serious obstacles and challenges is in the context of the movement of people and goods. Nevertheless, all parties concerned (IFA, PFA, and authorities from both sides) have contributed to the development of an IT system to facilitate the movement of people and goods in, out, and within Palestine. This is work in progress, as the IT mechanism is in the process of being further developed.

6.2. In the interaction of the chairman with the various stakeholders, particularly the governing authorities in Israel and Palestine as stated previously in this report, all parties cautioned about “keeping politics out of football”. However, whilst they all agree on this statement, there clearly is no common understanding on its substance.

6.3. Therefore, it is vital that FIFA ought to be extremely aware of the complexities involved, and must resist any temptation to be caught in any political conflict such as the one between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It must, as a football organisation, look essentially after the interest of football. This report would be incomplete if it does not mention the high degree of mutual respect which leaders of the IFA and the PFA, led by their two Presidents, had towards one another during the various deliberations over a period of almost two years since the establishment of the committee. The representatives of the IFA and PFA within the committee have always tried to remain cool headed.

6.4. Finally, regarding the FIFA Council decision, it must be clear that whatever option is acted upon –from the abovementioned three options, a mixture of some of them, or new options from within Council-, there will be a fallout which will have to be appropriately managed. Notwithstanding, FIFA must be aware of, and sensitive to, its obligations under international law. What the FIFA leadership cannot any longer avoid is taking a decision on this matter. The Monitoring Committee can only recommend, it is the FIFA leadership that must decide. In doing so, FIFA must be constantly aware that its mission is the promotion and development of football around the world, and to protect the game of football from all threats and risks.

For the Game. For the World

Chairman of the Committee
7. Annexures

ANNEXURE A: Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (Oslo I)

ANNEXURE B: UNSC Resolution 242

ANNEXURE C: UNSC Resolution 338

ANNEXURE D: The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II)

ANNEXURE E: UNSC Resolution 2334

ANNEXURE F: Minutes of the 63RD FIFA Congress, Mauritius 2013

ANNEXURE G: Minutes of the 64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 2014

ANNEXURE H: Minutes of 65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 2015

ANNEXURE I: Five Israeli Clubs playing in the Settlements

ANNEXURE J: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (Request for advisory opinion) by the International Court of Justice

ANNEXURE K: Minutes of the 66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 2016

ANNEXURE L: Kick off meeting in Zurich on 26 August 2015

ANNEXURE M: Meeting №1 in Tel Aviv on 2 October 2015

ANNEXURE N: Meeting №2 in Jericho on 16 December 2015

ANNEXURE O: Meeting №3 in Mexico on 10 May 2016

ANNEXURE P: Meeting №4 in Zurich on 1 November 2016

ANNEXURE Q: Meeting №5 in Zurich on 22 March 2017

ANNEXURE R: Meeting №6 in Manama on 9 May 2017

ANNEXURE S: Meeting №7 in Zurich on 25 July 2017

ANNEXURE T: Meetings of the Local Support Unit

ANNEXURE U: Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes

ANNEXURE V: Article 11.1 of the FIFA Statutes

ANNEXURE W: Articles 72.2 and 73 of the FIFA Statutes

X-Ib/2017/961

FIFA Monitoring Committee:
Israel-Palestine

Report by Committee Chairman Mr Tokyo Sexwale

FIFA Council №4
Kolkata, 27 October 2017

Table of Contents

1) Background information 3

2) The establishment of the Monitoring Committee 5

3) Work of the Monitoring Committee 7

4) Relevant articles of the FIFA Statutes 13

5) Recommended options for FIFA Council 14

6) Concluding remarks 15

7) Annexures 16

Annexure of comments of the Israel Football Association

Annexure of comments of the Palestine Football Association

Annexure of comments of other members of the committee

1. Background Information

1.1. It is extremely vital that the leadership of FIFA and other stakeholders should have some background information concerning the situation between Israel and Palestine. For the purpose of this report this is necessary in order to enable the FIFA leadership in Council and/or at Congress to make an informed football centred decision in the midst of what is clearly a volatile, historical and political conflict. This is because in this Middle-East situation, FIFA, a global football organisation, finds itself caught up in one of the most complex of conflicts in modern history.

1.2. Due to the above it is hereby recommended that the FIFA legal department should provide, when needed, FIFA´s own legal position on the matter.

1.3. This conflict is related to the land ownership question between the two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians which has from time to time seen the outbreak of hostilities and war over a long historical period.

1.4. There have also been several attempts to facilitate a peaceful agreement by world leaders. The most significant attempt was in the context of the Oslo Accords (1990s), where dialogue between Yizhak Rabin, Simon Peres and Yaser Arafat resulted in Nobel Prizes for Peace. Yet the conflict still remains. It would therefore be misplaced to expect that FIFA, a football organisation, should provide a solution where some of the best minds have failed.

1.5. As a result of the Oslo Accords (Annexure A), the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established, comprising of the West Bank and Gaza. Additionally, the parties (Israel and the PA) resolved to negotiate a final peace agreement based on the framework of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 242 and 338 (Annexures B and C).

1.6. The Oslo Accords established that certain elements, the “final topics” including the Two State Solution — one Israeli, one Palestinian — should be negotiated between the parties in the final peace agreement. The “final topics” include: security, borders and settlements amongst others (Annexure D).

1.7. As a result of the Oslo Accords, the parties created three zones on the West Bank:
• Zone A: Under full political and security control of the PA.
• Zone B: Civil control of the PA and Israeli security control.
• Zone C: Controlled entirely by Israel.
1.8. Talks for a negotiated final agreement have gone on and off over a period without resolution. Although the “Two-State solution” seems to be generally accepted by both parties, the problem appears to be and still remains its implementation. On 23 December 2016 the UNSC adopted Resolution 2334 in the context of this Israel-Palestine issue (Annexure E).

1.9. It is noteworthy that FIFA, domiciled in Switzerland, and as a citizen of the world, is not an island by itself; and should not be unmindful of its global obligations in terms of international law and relevant agreed-upon international protocols including its own statutes with regards to the promotion and development of football.

1.10. In this light, in 1998 FIFA gave recognition for FIFA membership to the Palestinian Football Association (PFA). Thus, the PFA administers football in an area which although is recognised by many within the international community is not yet recognised by Israel as an independent State.

1.11. Consequently, FIFA´s major challenge is that because association football is played on a football pitch, which requires land upon which football playing fields are built, the lack of a solution for the Israel-Palestine issue affects the play and enjoyment of the game of football.

2. The establishment of the FIFA Monitoring Committee

2.1. The situation of football in Palestine was discussed during the 63rd FIFA Congress in Mauritius in 2013. The PFA referred particularly to the issue of free movement of footballers (Annexure F) and the FIFA Congress mandated the FIFA President to find solutions to the problems faced by the PFA.

2.2. The 64TH FIFA Congress in São Paulo in 2014 accepted the proposal of the FIFA President to appoint an independent person or committee to monitor the progress made and to submit a report to the executive committee (Annexure G).

2.3. During the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich in 2015, the PFA, in addition to its previous concerns, raised the issue of five Israeli clubs that were playing under the Israel Football Association (IFA) on the territories under discussion (Annexure H), and called for the suspension of the IFA, a proposal which it subsequently withdrew in view of the decision by the FIFA Congress to establish the Tokyo Sexwale headed FIFA Monitoring Committee: Israel-Palestine.

2.4. Thus, the FIFA Monitoring Committee: Israel-Palestine was established as a result of the quest to contribute to a cordial understanding between the IFA and the PFA, and to find a football related solution to the five Israeli clubs playing on the territories under discussion as well as the movement of players, officials and football equipment in, out and within Palestine.

2.5. The five Israeli clubs playing in the settlements are:
• Hapoel Bik´at Hayarden — 3rd division (Bik´at Hayarden settlement).
• Beitar Ironi Ma´aleh Adumim — 4th division (Ma´aleh Adumim settlement).
• Beitar Givat Ze´ev — 4th division (Givat Ze´ev settlement).
• FC Ironi Ariel — 5th division (Ariel settlement)
• Elitzur Ironi Yehuda — 5th division (Kiryat Arba settlement) (Annexure I).

2.6. The PFA has strongly argued that the majority of the international community considers that these territories belong to Palestine, and that several UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice (2004) also determined that the territories are Palestinian (Annexure J).

2.7. The IFA has also strongly argued that the clubs concerned are located in “Area C”, which according to the Oslo Accords is a territory that remains under full political and military control of Israel until the final and permanent agreement between both parties is negotiated.

2.8. Following his update to the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico in 2016, Congress accepted the Chairman´s proposal to also engage with the governing authorities of Israel and Palestine in order to endeavour to resolve the more complex matter of the five Israeli clubs playing on the territories under discussion (Annexure K).

3. Work of the Monitoring Committee

The work of the committee has been divided into the following four categories:

3.1. Meetings of the Monitoring Committee

3.1.1. Kick off meeting in Zurich on 26 August 2015 (Annexure L)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.1.1. Composition: will include the chairman Tokyo Sexwale, the IFA General Secretary Rotem Kamer, the IFA Legal Counsel Efraïm Barak, the PFA Director of the International Department Susan Shalabi Molano, the PFA Legal Counsel Gonzalo Boye and two representatives of the FIFA Congress from CONCACAF, CONMEBOL or the OFC to be designated shortly. On the proposal by the chairman, the committee also agreed to have a representative from UEFA and AFC, where the IFA and PFA are affiliated.

3.1.1.2. The two additional committee members shall be acceptable to both IFA and PFA.

3.1.2. Meeting №1 in Tel Aviv on 2 October 2015 (Annexure M)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.2.1. Composition: two members representing the FIFA Congress were selected; Juan Angel Napout (President of CONMEBOL) and Victor Montagliani (President of the Canada Soccer Association).

3.1.2.2. Mandate: the chairman explained, through a problem statement, that the mandate of this committee is:

a) The question of movement (persons, goods, commodities) in, out, and within Palestine, which has that far been coordinating through the efforts of the Local Support Unit (LSU), a technical entity which has been managing the issues around the question of movement;
b) The issue of the five Israeli clubs playing in the territories;

3.1.2.3. Local Support Unit (LSU): It was agreed that both IFA and PFA are to attend the next committee meeting with concrete proposals related to the work of the LSU — for example by ways of a spreadsheet — in terms of timeline, speeding up of the permit applications procedure, realistic short, mid and long term gains.
3.1.2.4. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs playing football on the territories under discussion: it was agreed that this very sensitive issue required more time to do research and preparation and would therefore be discussed at the next meeting of this committee. The chairman also added that he intended to discuss this matter with the relevant authorities in Israel and Palestine on this subject beforehand and will make relevant proposals at the next meeting.

3.1.3. Meeting №2 in Jericho on 16 December 2015 (Annexure N)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.3.1. Composition: the PFA delegation suggested replacing Mr Napout by the president of the Moroccan FA Mr Fouzi Lekjaa.

3.1.3.2. Minutes: a discussion took place regarding the minutes of the first meeting, as well as what exactly was decided at the FIFA Congress in May 2015. It was decided to set this issue aside for the time being as no agreement could be found on some specific issues.

3.1.3.3. LSU: the PFA presented a concept paper for the LSU and insisted that there would be an increase in permit applications in the future due to a unified football league. The IFA suggested a first meeting of the LSU to take place as soon as possible.

3.1.3.4. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs playing football on the territories under discussion: it was agreed that this very sensitive issue required for the chairman to contact the relevant governing authorities beforehand and would therefore be discussed at the next meeting of this committee.

3.1.4. Meeting №3 in Mexico on 10 May 2016 (Annexure O)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.4.1. LSU meetings: an update was provided regarding the work of the LSU and the progress achieved in terms of movement. The basic functions of an Information Technology System (IT system), which was mooted during the initial LSU meeting to facilitate the permit application procedure was also outlined. It was agreed that the implementation and application of this IT system would become a long-term mechanism between all parties.

3.1.4.2. Address to the FIFA Congress: the chairman explained and read the report he planned to give to FIFA President Gianni Infantino so that he could address the Congress directly. The report explained that progress had occurred in terms of movement but acknowledged that a solution still had to be found regarding the issue of the 5 Israeli clubs playing in the territories under discussion.

3.1.4.3. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs playing football on the territories under discussion: the committee discussed potential solutions for the topic of the 5 Israeli clubs playing on the territories under discussion and, specifically, the question of jurisdiction in these areas.

3.1.5. Meeting №4 in Zurich on 1 November 2016 (Annexure P)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.5.1. Discussion on the 5 Israeli clubs: it was agreed that FIFA should not attempt to define a political border between Israel and Palestine. As no final agreement could be reached on this point, it was decided that the parties would prepare football and not political solutions for the 5 clubs for the next meeting of the committee.

3.1.6. Meeting №5 in Zurich on 22 March 2017 (Annexure Q)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.6.1. Address to the FIFA Council: the chairman explained that he briefed the FIFA Council on 10 January 2017 regarding the latest updates on the issues that comprise the mandate of the committee and of the work that had been done since the FIFA Council meeting in October 2016.

3.1.6.2. LSU: the members were informed that at the last meeting of the LSU it was decided to use on a trial basis the prototype of the IT system.

3.1.6.3. Discussion on the draft Monitoring Committee report to be presented by the Chairman for consideration and/or approval: the Chairman of the committee tabled a draft report to the members of the committee. The members of the committee were given a deadline by the Chairman to send their comments to his draft report.

3.1.7. Meeting №6 in Manama on 9 May 2017 (Annexure R)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.7.1. Proposal of the PFA on the agenda of the FIFA Council: the chairman expressed his disappointment with the PFA regarding their inclusion on the agenda of the FIFA Council of a matter directly related to the committee without informing him or the rest of the members of the committee, and requested the PFA delegation to give an explanation to the committee. He insisted that he did not think that it was correct that he as chairman was left out and that the committee had been left out of the decision of the PFA. The PFA agreed that they could have informed the chairman before sending their proposal as a gesture of courtesy.

3.1.7.2. Discussion on the final report of the monitoring committee: the IFA stated that discussions on the draft of the report had not taken place and the committee needed time to finalise the report, and that the committee should try to find an agreement on the draft of the report. The PFA stated that they proposed their comments to the draft of the chairman, but that the IFA disagreed with the draft report on its entirety. Additionally, the PFA stated that the chairman should report to the FIFA Council that there is a draft report with comments.

3.1.8. Meeting №7 in Zurich on 25 July 2017 (Annexure S)
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

3.1.8.1. Ratification of Minutes of the fifth and sixth meetings on 22 March and 9 May 2017: it was agreed that for the meetings that had been recorded (fifth, sixth and seventh), a full transcription would be requested and that in case of a discrepancy of the minutes of a meeting that had been recorded, the full transcription would prevail. It was also agreed that the meetings would reflect the decisions taken.

3.1.8.2. Discussion on the appeal submitted to CAS by the PFA against and/or related to the decision of the FIFA Congress of May 11, 2017: The IFA requested a copy of the appeal submitted to CAS by the PFA against the decision of the FIFA Congress of May 11, 2017. The chairman stated that he was uncomfortable with the PFA appeal to CAS. Particularly, he questioned why he was cited as a witness if the case is not related to the work of the committee, and that he would take this matter to the office of the Secretary General and to the legal department of FIFA.

3.1.8.3. Discussion on the Consolidated Report of the Monitoring Committee for consideration and/or approval: it was agreed that if there is no agreement on a final document that could be called “Consensus Report”, the final document would contain the “Chairman Report” with comments from the PFA and the IFA.

3.2. Meetings of the Local Support Unit

See Annexure T.

3.3. FIFA delegation missions to Israel and Palestine

3.3.1. A FIFA delegation led by Chairman Sexwale visited Israel and Palestine as part of the ongoing efforts by the Monitoring Committee to identify solutions to issues hindering the development of football in the region.

3.3.2. On 1 July 2016 the delegation visited Gaza where they could see first-hand the facilities of the Palestinian FA that were destroyed in 2014.

3.3.3. The FIFA delegation also met with representatives of the Israeli authorities, but the meeting with the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport, Mrs Miri Regev, originally planned for Thursday 30 June 2016 had to be rescheduled due to the many flight delays following the terror attack on Istanbul airport.

3.3.4. The delegation met representatives from the Israel and Palestinian football associations and Mr Sexwale had a meeting with the President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

3.3.5. On his visit, Mr Sexwale also announced a possible forthcoming trip to the region under appropriate conditions by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

3.3.6. The ‎Chairman also had separate meetings in November 2016 with Israel Prime Minister, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, and again with Palestinian Authority President, Mr Mahmoud Abbas. The objective of the discussions was to provide both leaders with an update of the work of the Monitoring Committee regarding two matters, namely the movement of people and football goods in and out of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the contentious question of the Israeli clubs playing in the settlements.

3.3.7. The Chairman and his delegation were always accompanied by members of either the Israel Football Association (IFA) or the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) where appropriated, who are also members of the monitoring committee.

3.3.8. As previously indicated, the chairman and his delegation finally conducted in-depth discussions with the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport in Jerusalem regarding the movement of people and goods and the issue of the clubs.

3.3.9. Other meetings which the FIFA delegation had were with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mr Rami Hamdallah, the Head of the Israeli opposition in the Knesset, Mr Isaac Herzog, and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr Nier Barkat.

3.4. Correspondence received

Numerous correspondence from across the world has been received by the chairman on behalf of the Monitoring Committee. Others were received by the FIFA President and by the FIFA Secretary General. The following organisations were amongst the institutions that sent correspondences:

3.4.1. Jewish Leadership Council
3.4.2. South African Jewish Board of Deputies
3.4.3. Jewish Community of Madrid
3.4.4. B´Nai B´Rith International
3.4.5. Australian/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council
3.4.6. Conseil Representatif des Institutions Juives de France
3.4.7. Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace
3.4.8. 68 Members of the European Parliament
3.4.9. Oxfam
3.4.10. Human Rights Watch
3.4.11. The Lawfare Project
3.4.12. European Jews for Just Peace
3.4.13. Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BDS)
3.4.14. Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (BfW)
3.4.15. Arab American Institute
3.4.16. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC)
3.4.17. Jewish Voice for Peace
3.4.18. European Middle East Project
3.4.19. And several more which are available on request

4. Relevant articles of the FIFA Statutes

4.1. Art. 3 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “FIFA is committed to respecting all internationally recognised human rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights.” (Annexure U).

4.2. Art. 11. 1 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “… Only one association shall be recognised as a member association in each country.”(Annexure V).

4.3. Art. 72.2 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “member associations and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member association without the latter´s approval”. (Annexure W).

4.4. Art. 73 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that “associations, leagues or clubs that are affiliated to a member association may only join another member association or take part in competitions on that member association´s territory under exceptional circumstances. In each case, authorisation must be given by both member associations, the respective(s) confederation and by FIFA. (Annexure W).

5. Recommended Options for FIFA Council to consider

The task of the Monitoring Committee has been essentially about monitoring the situation in line with FIFA Congresses resolutions with the understanding that such functions included facilitating dialogue among various parties represented within the committee and all other relevant stakeholders. Having considered several alternatives, the following options are presented for the FIFA Council´s consideration and decision.

5.1. Option 1: Maintenance of the current Status Quo
The status quo remains in that the Israel Football Association continues to administer football on the territories under discussion (the settlements). Under this option it implies that there should be no action by FIFA until the Oslo discussions -or similar negotiations- involving facilitated or direct talks between the parties have resolved the Israel-Palestine conflict.

5.2. Option 2: FIFA warns IFA — Yellow Card
In line with article 72.2 of the FIFA Statues, which proclaim that member associations and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member association without the latter´s approval, the IFA is given a warning by FIFA (yellow card) to rectify this issue by desisting to administer football on the territories concerned within a minimum period of six months. Failure to find a resolution within this period shall mean that the matter will revert to the FIFA Council for final decision-making.

5.3. Option 3: Discussions should be encouraged between the IFA and the PFA
Continued discussions between the IFA and the PFA should be encouraged should be based purely on football issues aimed at finding accommodation on how to agree amongst themselves.

6. Concluding Remarks

6.1. The committee has dealt with two issues, the movement of people and goods in, out and within Palestine, and the issue of the five clubs playing on the territories under discussion. The aspect where the committee has covered most ground and has produced a positive reaction notwithstanding some serious obstacles and challenges is in the context of the movement of people and goods. Nevertheless, all parties concerned (IFA, PFA, and authorities from both sides) have contributed to the development of an IT system to facilitate the movement of people and goods in, out, and within Palestine. This is work in progress, as the IT mechanism is in the process of being further developed.

6.2. In the interaction of the chairman with the various stakeholders, particularly the governing authorities in Israel and Palestine as stated previously in this report, all parties cautioned about “keeping politics out of football”. However, whilst they all agree on this statement, there clearly is no common understanding on its substance.

6.3. Therefore, it is vital that FIFA ought to be extremely aware of the complexities involved, and must resist any temptation to be caught in any political conflict such as the one between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It must, as a football organisation, look essentially after the interest of football. This report would be incomplete if it does not mention the high degree of mutual respect which leaders of the IFA and the PFA, led by their two Presidents, had towards one another during the various deliberations over a period of almost two years since the establishment of the committee. The representatives of the IFA and PFA within the committee have always tried to remain cool headed.

6.4. Finally, regarding the FIFA Council decision, it must be clear that whatever option is acted upon –from the abovementioned three options, a mixture of some of them, or new options from within Council-, there will be a fallout which will have to be appropriately managed. Notwithstanding, FIFA must be aware of, and sensitive to, its obligations under international law. What the FIFA leadership cannot any longer avoid is taking a decision on this matter. The Monitoring Committee can only recommend, it is the FIFA leadership that must decide. In doing so, FIFA must be constantly aware that its mission is the promotion and development of football around the world, and to protect the game of football from all threats and risks.

For the Game. For the World

Chairman of the Committee
7. Annexures

ANNEXURE A: Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (Oslo I)

ANNEXURE B: UNSC Resolution 242

ANNEXURE C: UNSC Resolution 338

ANNEXURE D: The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II)

ANNEXURE E: UNSC Resolution 2334

ANNEXURE F: Minutes of the 63RD FIFA Congress, Mauritius 2013

ANNEXURE G: Minutes of the 64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 2014

ANNEXURE H: Minutes of 65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 2015

ANNEXURE I: Five Israeli Clubs playing in the Settlements

ANNEXURE J: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (Request for advisory opinion) by the International Court of Justice

ANNEXURE K: Minutes of the 66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 2016

ANNEXURE L: Kick off meeting in Zurich on 26 August 2015

ANNEXURE M: Meeting №1 in Tel Aviv on 2 October 2015

ANNEXURE N: Meeting №2 in Jericho on 16 December 2015

ANNEXURE O: Meeting №3 in Mexico on 10 May 2016

ANNEXURE P: Meeting №4 in Zurich on 1 November 2016

ANNEXURE Q: Meeting №5 in Zurich on 22 March 2017

ANNEXURE R: Meeting №6 in Manama on 9 May 2017

ANNEXURE S: Meeting №7 in Zurich on 25 July 2017

ANNEXURE T: Meetings of the Local Support Unit

ANNEXURE U: Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes

ANNEXURE V: Article 11.1 of the FIFA Statutes

ANNEXURE W: Articles 72.2 and 73 of the FIFA Statutes

Written by

Palestinian journalist, former Ferris Professor at Princeton U., established @AmmanNet. Contributor to http://t.co/8j1Yo83u2Z

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