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Opinion: Politics and Football

Politics are a reality of life whether it may be in a workplace setting, in a religious setting or in a family situation. However sports and football supposedly don’t mix. Tell that story to Israel’s National Football Teams and see how much traction you get. Earlier in the week an Under-17 match between Israel and Turkey was canceled due to the fall out of Israel enforcing a blockade on Gaza. Later on in the week Sweden’s U-21 team who is scheduled to play in a qualifier against Israel tomorrow tried to pull out of the game with no consequences, using the “security situation” in Israel as an excuse, they were unsuccessful and the game will continue tomorrow. Whether the cancellation of the Turkey game was mutual or not, it is a disturbing sequence of events that point to a political targeting of Israel’s sports institutions. I personally believe that sports in Israel have been and will be targeted in part of an effort on some parties to delegitimize the State of Israel and the right of the Jewish people to live in their land. Israel must use all options to shame and unmask those elements who try to destroy any normalcy that Israel has. I don’t know if the IFA has made any efforts in this area, but unfortunately politics do mix with football, and this is a reality we will all have to deal with.

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