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Palestinian football chief demands Israel expulsion

Aug. 15, 2013 6:05 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 16, 2013 5:32 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- The Palestinian Football Association on Thursday urged FIFA to expel Israel from the international federation, saying it had refused to allow several Arab youth teams into the Palestinian territories.

"We ask (FIFA) for a red card, because the yellow card has been raised now for a long time," PFA chief Jibril al-Rujub told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

"We are clinging to the red card to take away the Israeli occupation's legitimacy and we will not accept any compromise," Rujub said.

Rujub said Israel had denied representatives of the West Asian Football Federation, which includes 12 Arab national football associations, permits to enter the occupied Palestinian territories to play in the WAFF Under-17's Championship, that was due to begin Thursday.

Three managers of the Jordanian football union, two UAE representatives and 13 managers and players from Iraq were refused entry, he said.

Rujub told AFP that WAFF was contacting FIFA and the European football federation UEFA, to which Israel also belongs, to "put pressure on Israel to issue the necessary permits" for the tournament to go ahead.

Israel was due to supply permits for all the teams by August 10.

UEFA was to issue a statement on the matter within 48 hours.

Palestine is also due to host the WAFF Under-21's Youth Championship in the first week of October.

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