PFA President Jibril Rajoub criticised FIFA for not allowing the Congress to vote on the issue ©Getty Images

The ongoing dispute between Israel and Palestine is set to drag on for a further five months at least after FIFA President Gianni Infantino confirmed a decision would not be made until October during today's Congress.

Jibril Rajoub, the President of the Palestine Football Association (PFA), gave an emotional address to the Congress, where he urged the governing body to resolve the matter.

However, Infantino decided that the ruling Council - and not the full Congress as had been proposed by Rajoub - would discuss the issue at its next meeting on October 27.

The initial Council proposal had given a deadline of March 2018.

It came after FIFA's Council decided to take the item off the agenda following its meeting on Tuesday (May 9), claiming it would be "premature to take any decision".

The disagreement, which centres on six Israeli teams based in the occupied territory, now looks likely to rumble on even further.

Rajoub was visibly angry at the choice to postpone a vote on the issue, which was passed with a 73 per cent majority, and lamented the continued delays.

Infantino told the membership that this had occurred because the report from FIFA Monitoring Committee chairman Tokyo Sexwale, recommending Israel be given six months to stop the teams playing in the occupied territories, was not yet "fully consolidated".

The PFA head said FIFA's initiatives, such as the meetings of the Monitoring Committee, had failed "due to the Israeli interference and pressure from the Israeli Government" after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Infantino in a bid to get the item taken off the agenda.

He also said the call amounted to political interference from the country in the matters of the Israel Football Association (IFA).

"Why has his report not been presented to this congress?" said Rajoub.

"Why was the item removed from the agenda? 

"We’ve already had delay after delay - what exactly has Tokyo Sexwale achieved."

IFA President Ofer Eini responded to the speech from Rajoub and proposed holding a "match of peace" between the two countries, with the money raised going towards a football school in the troubled region.

"I do not intend to give a hate speech in return," he said, while labelling Rajoub's address as "political from start to finish".

Rajoub then became even more animated by Infantino's decision, with a lawyer for the PFA calling the move "unconstitutional".

Others claimed it went against FIFA's own statutes.

IFA President Ofer Eini said PFA counterpart Jibril Rajoub's address to the Congress was political from start to finish ©Getty Images
IFA President Ofer Eini said PFA counterpart Jibril Rajoub's address to the Congress was political from start to finish ©Getty Images

"The decision of the Council to recommend to the Congress was to take a decision at the end of the March," said Infantino.

"However, following the discussion and the lively debate we had today, we thought and I thought I should put this on the agenda in October.

"We want to take a decision and we have to take a decision, whether the decision will satisfy one party or the other party or none or both, I do not know.

"But we need to make a decision.

"On the other side, we are not the only ones who did not take a final decision on this, it starts by the UN and ends by all the countries.

"I have been hearing in the press that President Trump is looking into this and hopefully he can find a solution. 

"If he has an idea, I am happy to take it."

Palestine say the fact that the teams, playing in the settlements of Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Oranit and Tomer, are in territory which they eventually believe will be within the borders of a future Palestinian state goes against FIFA statutes.

However, Israel disputes this and have accused Rajoub of manipulating the situation to further his political interests.

Officials on the Israeli side of the argument also believe the PFA are attempting to get them suspended from world football's governing body.

"Today’s decision to delay means FIFA will continue sponsoring games on stolen land, contrary to its statutes and human rights responsibilities,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. 

“After four years, it’s not clear why FIFA needs yet another year to decide whether or not to follow its own rules.”