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October 25, 2018 9:30 am

International Soccer Group Acquiesces to Israeli Broadcast In Judea, Samaria

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Soccer fans carrying an Israeli flag at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia Photo: Reuters/Henry Romero.

JNS.org – The Union of European Football Associations relented to a request by Israel’s national broadcaster to televise the Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer games, after a year of negotiation over whether the company could broadcast the games to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

According to the Tuesday report, the Kan company bid $5.8 million for the rights to show Israel’s games in the early rounds of the two popular soccer competitions.

But the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) stipulated that Kan could only broadcast Israel’s games inside the Green Line—the sovereign territory of Israel prior to the 1967 Six-Day War, at which time Israel liberated Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the lands ascribed to the Jewish people in the Bible.

UEFA said Israel could not broadcast in “Palestinian territories,” meaning that Israelis living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem could not watch the games.

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Kan informed UEFA that it would not accept the conditions on its broadcasting rights and withdrew its bid.

Debate over the subject lasted a year.

At that point, Kan and UEFA officials conducted an unofficial meeting whereby UEFA withdrew the limitation on Israeli broadcasting on condition that the games are also broadcast in Arabic, and that Kan uses the broadcast of a Qatari company that bought the rights to broadcast the matches in areas, including “the Palestinian territories.”

“We thank UEFA heads for their help in finding a solution which once again prevents any attempt to tie soccer with politics,” the Israel Football Association said in a statement.

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