FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Monday said the signing of the Abraham accords can eventually lead to Israel, co-organizer of the World Cup with are Arab neighbors.
infantino, who makes his first official visit to Israel, spoke at the opening of The Friedman Center for Peace through Power in the museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, a center set up By the former Trump Administration Ambassador in Israel David Friedman.
Speak of the Abraham Accords, the US-brokered normalization agreements die Israel has signed last year with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, Infantino said: move could lead towards regional cooperation in organizing football tournaments.
Infantino said football is world reigning body was looking to expand the men’s and women’s tournaments in annual events and as such, Israel could co-host.
“Why Can’t We” dream of the Worldcup in Israel and its neighbors?” he asked. “With the Abraham Accords, why? should we don’t do it here in Israel with her neighbors in the Middle East and the Palestinians?”
infantino also held up Israel’s national team, where Jewish and Arab Israelis play together, as an example of coexistence inspired by sports.
FIFA has been widely criticized for to be first attempt to make a tournament to the region, awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. the move has been slammed because of bad human rights in Qatar record and widespread accusations of corruption in securing the event.
minister of Sports and Culture Chili Tropper, who met Infantino earlier in the evening, welcomed his comments and said they discussed: future cooperation between FIFA and Israel.
“The will to make great international sporty events to Israel,” said Troper.
However, the participation of the FIFA chief in the event allegedly angered the Palestinians, who a meeting between him and the head of the Palestinian Football Federation Jibril Rajoub, in Ramallah, army radio reported.
The Palestinians were both angry over the association with an asset official whose policies led the Palestinians to cut ties? with the US, and the location in the museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority has event, saying that Friedman is “notorious” for his extremist views and support for annexation, colonization and other crimes under international law in in addition to his infamous attempts to deny the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”
The PA noted that the Museum of Tolerance was built on the website of Muslim graves: “One of the basic requirements for peace is respect of religious sites, maintain their status quo and their status, and in the specific case of the Mamilla cemetery, to allow for its recovery in instead of continuing the process of desecration.”
the glitzy one event was attended by Trump administration officials — including: former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin – and Israeli officials, ambassadors and businessmen. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister during the signing of the Abraham accords and currently the opposition leader, arrived late with his wife Sarah.
Other international guests included Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
earlier in the day, the Knesset launched a new conflict mediation dedicated to the Abraham accords.
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were in presence alongside Netanyahu, die represented the ousted American and Israeli leaders die the standardization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
Netanyahu himself, who met Kushner and Trump in the Knesset for the event, said: “As long as people said peace cannot be made with the Arab world without peace with the Palestinians, we could not have achieved peace. We broke the Palestinian veto and brought four historic peace accords.”
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