COSATU urges SAFA and CAF to demand FIFA and UEFA immediately suspend and move to expel Israel from all international football activities

25 March 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is appalled by the continuing onslaught unleashed by the Israeli regime against millions of ordinary Palestinians.  Until Israel ends its apartheid rule and genocidal war against the Palestinian people, we cannot condone normal relations and will continue to support calls to boycott, divest and sanction this international pariah.

Sports plays an important role in moulding young people, providing a career for sports players and bringing joy to millions.  Tragically there can be none of these basic human rights under the brutality of the war in Gaza or the occupation in the rest of the Palestinian territories.  Yet Israel has been allowed to continue playing football whilst it fails to afford young Palestinians the same inalienable human rights.

Millions of ordinary South Africans rallied around the call of COSATU, the United Democratic Front, the African National Congress and the liberation struggle during the dark days of apartheid, by declaring that “there can be no normal sports in an abnormal society”.  This call helped mobilise millions of South Africans and people across the world to demand the end of apartheid and the building of a democratic, non-racial constitutional democracy.

As a nation which has felt pain of racial oppression and genocide, South Africa, cannot sit idly by when we see Palestinian women, children and ordinary persons experiencing the same pain generation after generation.

COSATU thus calls upon the South African Football Association as well as the Confederation of African Football to demand the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) as well as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), immediately suspend and move to expel Israel from all international football activities until the way against the Palestinian people has ended and a free Palestine achieved.

Issued by COSATU 

For further information please contact:
Bongani Masuku(COSATU International Secretary)
Cell:079 499 6419