|Founded||14 August 1928 (Mandatory Palestine/ Eretz Israel )|
14 May 1948 (Israel)
|Headquarters||Ramat Gan, Israel|
|FIFA affiliation||17 May 1929|
The Israel Football Association (IFA; Hebrew : ההתאחדות לכדורגל בישראל, HaHit'aḥdut leKaduregel beIsrael, literally "The Association of Football in Israel") is the governing body of football in Israel. It organizes a variety of association football leagues, Israel State Cup, and the Israel national football team. The IFA was founded in 1928 as the Palestine (Eretz Israel) Football Association and is based in Ramat Gan, Israel. The Association is controversial due to its inclusion of clubs playing in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank (Judea and Samaria]).
The Palestine Football Association (PFA) or Eretz Israel Football Association, was founded in a meeting held on 14 August 1928,and applied for membership of FIFA. It was admitted provisionally on 17 December 1928, affiliated on 17 May 1929 and recognised by FIFA's government on 6 July 1929. The PFA changed its name to the Israel Football Association (IFA) following the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.
The IFA was a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from 1954 until 1974, when it was expelled due to political pressure from Arab and Muslim members that refused to play against Israel. From then until 1992, the IFA was not affiliated with any confederation. During this period, the Israeli national teams played only in FIFA competitions and occasionally in OFC, UEFA and CONMEBOL qualifying tournaments.
In 1992, the IFA was admitted to UEFA as an associate member, becoming a full member two years later. Since 1992, Israeli clubs have played in the various UEFA club competitions, while the national teams have played in UEFA championships.
As of 2017, the IFA included six member clubs playing in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These are Maccabi Ariel indoor football club and Ariel municipal football club in Ariel; Beitar Givat Ze’ev Shabi in Giv'at Ze'ev, a settlement near Ramallah; Beitar Ma’aleh Adomim in Ma'ale Adumim, a settlement near East Jerusalem; Hapo’el Oranit in Oranit; and Hapo’el Jordan Valley in Tomer, a settlement built on land seized from the Palestinian village of Fasayil.A seventh club, Hapo’el Katamon Yerushalayim, plays some home games in the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim while two other clubs playing in Israel list offices in settlements near Hebron and Ramallah. Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, argues that the IFA is in violation of FIFA rules forbidding a club of one national association from playing in the territory of another as the West Bank is covered by the Palestinian Football Association, a FIFA member. Bashi also notes that Palestinians are not allowed to enter settlements to watch games played by these clubs.
German sportswear company Adidas previously sponsored the IFA, leading to criticism for supporting settlement clubs. More than 130 Palestinian sports clubs signed an open letter calling for Adidas to end its sponsorship of the IFA.An online petition of the BDS Movement to "Tell Adidas to end sponsorship of Israeli settlement teams" reportedly received more than 16,000 signatures. In June 2018, a Dutch BDS group delivered the open letter and petition to an Adidas office in Amsterdam. In July 2018, Adidas ended its sponsorship deal but was replaced as sponsor by Puma, another German sportswear company. As a result, Puma has become a BDS target with critics arguing that Puma, the IFA's only international sponsor, "is involved in violations of international law and human rights." Aya Khattab, a player on the Palestinian National Women's football team, argued that "Puma's sponsorship of the IFA, and the international legitimacy that it grants, signal to Israel's racist far-right regime that its expansion of illegal settlements by pushing Palestinian families off their ancestral lands can continue with impunity." Mahmoud Sarsak, a Palestinian football player who was imprisoned by Israel for several years without charge or trial, accused Puma of "supporting the hate which is destroying lives and poisoning the beautiful game" of football. In addition to Khattab and Sarsak, more than 200 Palestinian athletes and sports clubs have called for a Puma boycott, according to articles in the Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss. In October 2019, posters calling for a boycott of Puma appeared on trains in London. The posters were removed by Transport for London, which described them as an unauthorized act of vandalism. In 2020, Universiti Teknologi MARA, the largest university in Malaysia, ended a sponsorship deal with Puma for their football team due to Puma's IFA sponsorship.
StandWithUs, a Israel advocacy group in the US, criticized calls for a boycott stating that "Sports are supposed to unite and bring people together, BDS drives them apart."
In 1979, Yosef Yekutieli, the founder of the IFA, was awarded the Israel Prize "for dedicating his life to promoting and laying the international foundation of Israeli sports."
Adidas AG is a German multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, after Nike. It is the holding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, 8.33% of the German football club Bayern München, and Runtastic, an Austrian fitness technology company. Adidas' revenue for 2018 was listed at €21.915 billion.
The Modern Language Association of America, often referred to as the Modern Language Association (MLA), is the principal professional association in the United States for scholars of language and literature. The MLA aims to "strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature". The organization includes over 25,000 members in 100 countries, primarily academic scholars, professors, and graduate students who study or teach language and literature, including English, other modern languages, and comparative literature. Although founded in the United States, with offices in New York City, the MLA's membership, concerns, reputation, and influence are international in scope.
The Israel national football team represents Israel in international football, and is governed by the Israel Football Association (IFA).
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Football is the most popular sport in Israel. Football as an organised sport, first developed in the United Kingdom, who controlled Mandatory Palestine during the days of the British Mandate.
StandWithUs is an American right-wing pro-Israel advocacy organization. Known for working closely with the Israeli government, the organization focuses on education and is active on American campuses. SWU supports Israeli settlements and does not believe the West Bank is occupied.
Boycotts of Israel in sports refer to various disqualifications and denial of Israeli athletes. As part of a more or less systematic boycott of Israel, Israeli athletes and teams have been barred from some competitions. In many international competitions, where Israel does take part, such as the Olympic Games, some Arab and Muslim competitors avoid competing against Israelis. Some countries, most notably Iran, even compel their athletes not to compete against Israelis or in Israel.
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Boycotts of Israel are the refusal and incitement to refusal to have commercial or social dealings with Israel in order to inflict economic hardship upon the state. The objective of boycotts of Israel is to influence Israel's practices and policies by means of using economic weapons as the coercive force. The specific objective of Israel boycotts varies; the BDS movement calls for boycotts of Israel "until it meets its obligations under international law, and the purpose of the Arab League's boycott of Israel was to prevent Arab states and others to contribute to Israel's economy. Israel believes that boycotts against it are antisemitic.
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Combating BDS Act is an anti-BDS bill passed by the Senate in the 116th United States Congress intended to counter the BDS movement's call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
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