UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Moroccan team breaks FIFA rules by waving Palestinian flags at World Cup

UKLFI requests urgent action by FIFA to prevent further violations at the semi-final and finals

The Moroccan team, its members and officials have been accused of flagrant violations of the FIFA rules at the World Cup in Doha, by waving and holding large Palestinian flags to transmit a political message of support for Palestine.

UKLFI has written to Jorge Palacio, Chair of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, to request that he opens an immediate investigation and to pronounce provisional measures to prevent any repetition of such violations at the Semi-Final on Wednesday 14 December and at the Final or third place playoff next Saturday 17 December.   UKLFI has said that appropriate sanctions should follow.

Africa News and other media showed the Moroccan team and officials posing with the Palestinian flag on the pitch immediately following their win over Spain. An article on CNN’s website mentions that the Palestinian flag was also waived by a Moroccan player following their match against Canada.

UKLFI pointed out that  Article 11(2) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code provides:

“… anyone who acts in any of the following ways may be subject to disciplinary measures …

c) using a sports event for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature”

In addition, Article 60(1) of the FIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations provides:

“The promotion or announcement of political or religious messages or any other political or religious actions, inside or in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, by any means, is strictly prohibited before, during and after matches.”

Article 11(1) of the Disciplinary Code requires that

“Associations and clubs, as well as their players, officials and any other member and/or person carrying out a function on their behalf, must respect the Laws of the Game, as well as the FIFA Statutes and FIFA’s regulations, directives, guidelines, circulars and decisions … ”

Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI commented: “By not respecting the regulations, the Moroccan players and officials themselves violated the Disciplinary Code. Political actions can provoke disorder so it is important to ensure that these Regulations are enforced. We hope that FIFA will address this urgently to ensure that the forthcoming games are not marred by further political demonstrations.”