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Jordan Asks FIFA to Freeze Israel Soccer Participation - 2002-04-03

The Jordanian Football (soccer) Association has asked the International Football Federation to freeze all of Israel's participation in FIFA events because of tensions in the Middle East.

The JFA said in a letter that its request was prompted by Israel's military action against the Palestinian Authority and refusal to abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and withdraw from the occupied territories and Gaza.

The letter said that FIFA should ban Israel the same way it ostracized South Africa for its policy of apartheid. JFA President Prince Ali, the half-brother of Jordan's King Abdullah, said the ban should remain in place until Israel "restores the dignity of the Palestinian people."

No response was available from Israel. A FIFA spokesman could not confirm his organization had received the letter and said no formal reaction was available.