Right-wing Australian-Jewish Group Calls on National Soccer Team to Boycott Palestine

Australia is set to play Palestine in the Asia Football Cup Friday

Soccer players on the Palestinian soccer team celebrate a win in a match against Bhutan in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Hebron, October 10, 2017
\ MUSSA ISSA QAWASMA/REUTERS

Australia's Jewish Association called Wednesday on their country's national soccer team to boycott their upcoming Asia Cup match against Palestine, which is scheduled for Friday, Australia's public broadcaster SBS News reported.

According to the report, the Jewish association - a newly formed conservative group - accused the Asian Football Confederation of trying to “erase Israel from its history books altogether,” referring to the Asia Cup ommiting to showcase Israel as a winner in the 1964 match, despite displaying all other winners.

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Palestine participated in the Asia Cup for the first time in 2015, chosen in a special tournament. For the 2019 match, Palestine qualified on full merit.

In 2017, Palestine overtook Israel in the world FIFA ranking for several months, although it is now ranked nine placed below it. 

Israel hosted the finals of the third Asian Cup in, 1964, winning the title with a perfect record of three wins - although only four countries competed that year.

The 1964 victory is Israel's only international football competition title. Israel was runner-up in both the 1956 and 1960 tournaments, and placed third in 1968. 

However, after a Kuwaiti motion to have Israel expelled from the confederation was adopted in 1974, Israel spent two decades without belonging to a regional confederation, until it was accepted into the European confederation in 1994.