Palestine drops request to expel Israel from FIFA, amendment passes by 90%
The Palestinian FA has dropped a motion to have Israel suspended from FIFA, with an amended proposal being voted through the FIFA Congress by 90 percent on Friday.
The agenda for the 65th annual FIFA congress in Zurich included a request by the Palestinian football federation (PFA) to suspend the Israeli football federation (IFA) from FIFA and the world game.
Palestine's amendment called for a committee be established to ensure free movement of players and goods, and for FIFA to pass it to the United Nations to decide whether five Israeli settler clubs should be permitted to continue in "occupied territories."
Confirmation of motion to solve Israel-Palestine matter - PFA withdraws request to suspend IFA #FIFACongress- FIFA Media (@fifamedia) May 29, 2015
FIFA president Sepp Blatter had previously said he did not support the request, and said after the vote: "It's up to Israel to help and share a little bit more with Palestine."
The presidents of PFA and IFA shook hands following the vote.
The conference was briefly disrupted on Friday morning by two protesters who unfurled a Palestinian flag before they were removed by security.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly defended his nation earlier this month, writing on his Facebook page that the dispute "stems from their very objection to our existence."
The Israeli leader said: "If FIFA harms Israel, it will be harming itself. Other countries, too, will use FIFA to settle scores with their adversaries, and instead of the spirit of international sport that is supposed to transcend politics, we will get the destruction of soccer."
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Blatter appealed to delegates for unity on Friday morning after admitting that the events of this week -- with Swiss authorities arresting several top FIFA officials on Wednesday relating to federal corruption charges -- had "unleashed a storm" for world football's governing body.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.