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September 16, 2013 11:54 am

Israel Establishes Team to Encourage Growth of Palestinian Football

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Kiryat Eliezer Stadium in Haifa, Israel during a soccer match. Photo: wiki commons.

In a meeting held Sunday, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major-General Eitan Dangot and Israel
Football Association Chairman Avi Luzon, agreed upon the establishment of a joint mechanism for supporting Palestinian football.

At the meeting, it was decided to establish a designated team, to work with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which would  include the Israel Football Association, the PA Ministry of Civil Affairs in the PA and PA sport bodies, in order to arrange joint football activities and to coordinate the PA’s  games, while encouraging and developing football in the region.

Earlier this month the FIFA Task Force Israel-Palestine met to discuss related bilateral matters including facilitating the movement of players, coaches, referees, and officials in and out of Palestinian Authority controlled areas. Several proposals were made including one regarding applications for entry permits, as well as one for the import of sports equipment.

FIFA confirmed that it will act as the intermediary body between the Palestinian Football Association  and the IFA in the event of any future challenges faced by the parties.

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who was present at the meeting, expressed his optimism at the advancement in relations.

“The fact that both parties, from Israel and Palestine, agreed to participate in such a Task Force was already a sign of goodwill,” he said, according to FIFA.com. “This stance was confirmed today. I’m very happy that this meeting could lead to a concrete proposal aimed at enhancing the development of football in Palestine in accordance with the FIFA Statutes. Furthermore, it is my and FIFA’s hope that football will contribute to connecting people from both countries.”

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