The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) will have to wait to find out if they can over-turn a decision against world soccer’s governing body FIFA regarding their rights to run football activities there.
The Court of Arbitration for sport (CAS) have said the appeal was against a decision taken during the FIFA Congress in May to not vote on a proposal by the PFA in which it sought the “recognition of its rights to run football activities in accordance with the FIFA statutes”.
FIFA instead chose to vote on an alternative proposal in which the FIFA Council was granted a time limit until the end of March 2018 to study and evaluate reports from the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine
The PFA had been set to have their appeal heard today (November 27) but the hearing has been postponed with no fixed date announced.
The Palestinian FA believes that six Israeli football teams based in the West Bank's Jewish settlements of Kiryat Arba, Givat Zeev, Maale Adumim, Ariel, Oranit and Tomer, violated FIFA’s regulations, which prohibit games from being held in a member federation's territory without its authorisation.
Back in October, FIFA said that they would not take a position on the future of the West Bank clubs, citing the "exceptional complexity and sensitivity" and "political" nature of the subject.
A FIFA statement said "Given that the final status of the West Bank territories is the concern of the competent international public law authorities, the FIFA Council agrees that FIFA, in line with the general principle established in its Statutes, must remain neutral with regard to political matters,"
"Furthermore, it was agreed that any interference by FIFA in the status quo of football in the relevant territories without the consent of the parties concerned might aggravate the situation of football not only in the territories in question, but also in the greater region affected - which would not be in the best interests of the game."
They followed up this statement by declaring the matter closed.
This caused the PFA to take their case to CAS who they urged to revoke FIFA's decision not to vote on the proposal it put forward and to compel them (FIFA) to do so immediately.
However, the PFA does have a contingency plan if CAS dismiss their case with chairman Jibril Rajoub saying, "If the CAS does not compel FIFA to respect its own statutes, we will turn to Swiss courts to determine whether FIFA is respecting and abiding by Swiss law."
Palestine have only ever qualified for one FIFA tournament, the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, but they were eliminated at the Group Stage.
The latest FIFA World Rankings, released on November 23, showed that Palestine, 82nd on the list, had risen above Israel, 98th, for the first time in their history.