Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the "failure" of the Palestinian authority to suspend Israel's FIFA membership during its Congress, stressing that the only way to achieve peace would be through negotiations.
"Our international effort has proven itself and led to the failure of the Palestinian authority attempt to oust us from FIFA," Netanyahu said on Friday, extending thanks to all parties that partook in the international efforts, and the Israeli delegation in Switzerland led by Ofer Eini, chairman of the Israel Football Association (IFA), reports Efe.
"The state of Israel is interested in a peace that will ensure security for its citizens but this will not be achieved through coercion and distorting the truth. The only way to achieve peace is to begin negotiations between the sides."
The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) had previously planned to propose a vote during Friday's meeting on the possible suspension of IFA as Israel has refused to ban five teams from illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories that play in the Israeli Premier League.
However, the Palestinian delegation withdrew its request to put the suspension to a vote as PFA president Jibril Rajoub explained that he had agreed with his colleagues' counsel to avoid bad blood in the governing body, but added that he would not give up on the cause to oblige Israel to respect FIFA regulations.
While the FIFA Congress did not vote on Israel's FIFA status, it did approve the creation of a mechanism to verify if Israel poses obstacles to Palestinian football, while it will also devote time to the issue of teams from illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories that play in the Israeli Premier League.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also congratulated Eini on the Palestinian's failure to achieve the suspension.
"In sport, victory is only achieved on the pitch. The result at FIFA demonstrates that such attempts to harm Israel have failed and will always fail," Rivlin said.