Thursday, October 19th | 29 Tishri 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

November 4, 2015 3:48 pm

FIFA Reverses Decision Mandating Saudis Play Soccer Match in Ramallah

avatar by

Email a copy of "FIFA Reverses Decision Mandating Saudis Play Soccer Match in Ramallah" to a friend
A soccer match. Photo: Wikipedia.

A soccer match. Photo: Wikipedia. – FIFA has reversed its decision mandating that Saudi Arabia play its World Cup qualifying match in Ramallah against the Palestinians and ordered that the match be played in neutral territory.

The decision came following objections by Saudi Arabia against playing the match with the Palestinian national team in Ramallah. Saudi officials had cited security concerns for their refusal. FIFA also ordered a Palestinian home game against Malaysia to be played elsewhere.

FIFA said the decision “followed a meeting held in Palestine yesterday (Tuesday) between FIFA’s security officer and local authorities, after which the Palestinian government confirmed that it could no longer guarantee the safety and security around the matches in question,” Reuters reported.

“In view of this, the Emergency Bureau for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers has confirmed that the security guarantees cannot be compromised and that both matches need to be played on neutral ground.”

Related coverage

October 18, 2017 4:19 pm

At Security Council Parley on Middle East, US and Israeli UN Envoys Decry Iranian Regional Provocations

The US and Israeli envoys to the UN slammed Iran's rulers at a Wednesday meeting of the Security Council on...

However, although Saudi officials have said that their refusal to play is due to security concerns, there may be another reason for their decision — that a match in Ramallah would be normalizing ties with Israel.

“We refuse to pass through Israeli crossings and play against Palestine,” said the official spokesperson for the Saudi Football Association in a meeting on October 19.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner