FIFA has ordered Palestine to stage their upcoming 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers games against Saudi Arabia and Malaysia at neutral venues in Asia.
The decision came out after Saudi announced on Tuesday they would refuse to travel to the occupied territories for their match with Malaysia also previously appealed for neutral stage due to security concern.
Palestine-Saudi Arabia match, which was originally scheduled for November 5 will now be played on November 9, while the Palestine-Malaysia match will still be played, as planned, on 12 November.
“The Palestinian government confirmed that it could no longer guarantee the safety and security around the matches in question,” FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.
Many Arab nations refuse to play in the West Bank, arguing it legitimises Israel’s occupation of the territory especially In the past two months there has been a surge in violence between Palestinians and Israelis.