Australia have beaten Palestine 3-0 in their second Asia Cup group match in Dubai on Friday, in a match which faced protest from the Australian Jewish Association (AJA) on grounds of "political bias against Israel".
The 'Socceroos' won with first half goals from Jamie Maclaren and Awer Mabil before substitute Apostolos Giannou made it three late on at Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium to keep their hopes of qualifying in Group B alive after a shock 1-0 loss to Jordan on Sunday.
Will @FFA respond to AJA's call in relation to the "Palestine" game? As GM of Media and Government Relations of @FFA do you think it is appropriate for Australia to be manipulated into AFC's political games? What will @RNogarotto -a savvy new director- say on this?
— Australian Jewish Association (@AustralianJA) January 9, 2019
Initially, The AJA had demanded the game against Palestine not take place, or at least do so under protest at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which it accused of antisemitism, political bias, and of erasing Israel, who won the cup in 1964, from a video of past winners. The organization also criticized Football Federation Australia for allowing the nation to take part in the competition.
Asia Cup: Australia vs "Palestine"
AJA is calling on Football Federation Australia to withdraw from the game. https://t.co/REi4JJ9dgG
— Australian Jewish Association (@AustralianJA) January 8, 2019
"The FFA board should not allow the Socceroos to play Palestine," AJA president Dr David Adler said in a statement released on Tuesday. "If compelled to do so, then at the very least it must do so under protest.
Adler went on to say: “Australia’s participation in the Asian Cup in these circumstances legitimizes the politicization of the Cup as it renders Australia complicit with the AFC’s political bias against Israel."'
Read more: ‘Blatantly politicized’: Australia beat Palestine in Asia Cup match protested by Jewish group