Israel and Palestinians find peace on the soccer pitch
New mechanism improves facilitation of movement of Palestinian soccer players, coaches, referees, officials and even equipment, FIFA says.
Israel and the Palestinians have finally found something they can agree upon: progress has been made in the field of soccer cooperation, FIFA reported on its website on Monday.
Both the Israel Football Association and the Palestinian Football Association agreed that a new mechanism implemented since they last met in September has improved the "facilitation of movement of soccer players, coaches, referees, officials and equipment into, out of and within Palestine," according to FIFA, the international governing body of soccer. Moreover, "the new mechanism had improved communication between them while accelerating the decision-making process concerning the movement of football representatives."
IFA chairman Avi Luzon met with PFA president Jibril Rajoub under the presence of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke at the evaluation session in Zurich. Blatter announced the establishment of the FIFA Task Force Israel-Palestine in July.
“I’m pleased by the progress made by both associations in the past months. I remain confident that further important steps will be taken in the near future in order to reach a good solution for the development of football in Israel and Palestine,” said FIFA President Blatter, according to the website.
FIFA said it would continue to monitor the overall process. The governing body announced its goal is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding ahead of its upcoming congress.