Yael Arad, chairwoman of the Israeli Olympic Committee, who was in India for her upcoming inauguration as a member of the International Olympic Committee, felt compelled to address FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the International Olympic Committee’s convention.
Arad: ‘Put yourself in our shoes’
Arad expressed her disappointment with FIFA‘s insufficient condemnation and lack of outraged statements regarding the recent Hamas massacres. After strongly feeling the need to confront Infantino, she approached him and conveyed her sentiments. He listened to her. Arad expressed her dissatisfaction with the message issued by Infantino’s organization, stating, “This message is unacceptable. It would have been better if you hadn’t issued any statement at all. You must put yourself in the shoes of the Israelis whose homes were invaded and whose loved ones were killed and taken captive.
“Imagine if your closest family members were held hostage – women, children, and elderly. Where is FIFA’s strong defense against this?”
The FIFA president responded, “We have issued a statement. I cannot make a more political statement than this.”
Arad retorted, “This is not a political matter. It is a matter of humanity. Innocent people were massacred here – 1,400 individuals were brutally murdered. Babies were burned, children and elderly were taken captive. This is an unprecedented atrocity, and your organization, which you lead, did not issue a fitting announcement.”
Arad, who has received immense support and encouragement from her counterparts around the world, shared her thoughts with Walla! Sports.