PARIS (Oct. 27)
The president of the Tunisian Football Federation, Salim Aloulou, said yesterday that the International Football (Soccer) Federation (FIFA) last week decided to strip Israel of membership in the Asian Football Federation. According to a report by the Tunisian Press Agency, Aloulou said the FIFA decision was taken at a secret meeting of its Emergency Committee last week in Munich.
Aloulou, as quoted by the Tunisian Press Agency, said “This decision takes effect at once though it will have to be ratified by the FIFA executive bureau.” FIFA officials questioned by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, refused to comment before the executive committee meets. They indicated privately, however, that the Asian Federation has taken “some action” along the lines of the report.
Aloulou is reported to have also said that he received assurances from FIFA president Joao Havelange that the Palestinian Soccer Federation will soon be admitted to the world body and would take part in international games. FIFA’s Emergency Committee, which according to the Tunisian report, recommended Israel’s exclusion from the Asian Games, consists of FIFA president Havelange, Russia’s Valentin Graoatkin, Kuwait’s Ahmed el Saadoun, Mexico’s Guillermo Canedo, Italy’s Artemio Franchi and Egypt’s Gen. Abdelazziz Mostpha.
Should the FIFA executive ratify the recommendation, Israel will remain a FIFA member but will no longer belong to the Asian region. It might join another region such as Europe in a situation similar to that existing at UNESCO.