The Palestinian Football Association Saturday denounced an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) decision to fine a Palestinian club $20,000 after nine of its players failed to report to a March encounter which was then cancelled.
Al-Dharia was to have played Syria’s Al-Wahda on March 9 in Lebanon but the fixture was cancelled because Lebanese authorities refused entry to nine Palestinian players who hold Israeli nationality.
Lebanon bans Israeli passport holders from entering the country, and the Al-Dharia players were sent back from Beirut international airport to neighboring Jordan.
The AFC decision was taken Friday by its disciplinary committee which said in a press release that it had found Al-Dharia “was the relevant party that caused the cancellation of the match.”
As a result, “the committee ordered that Al-Dharia forfeit the match by a score of 3-0 and pay a fine of $20,000” (around 17,470 euros), the Palestinian Football Association said.
It said it will engage in a “legal battle” and appeal the decision.
Arab Israelis include descendants of Palestinians who remained after the creation of Israel in 1948.
They account for around 17.5 percent of Israel’s eight-million population and are largely supportive of the Palestinians. afp, photo by youtube