Sports Politika
Sports Politika
The fight to sanction Israel in international sports w/ Katarina Pijetlovic

The fight to sanction Israel in international sports w/ Katarina Pijetlovic

Professor Katarina Pijetlovic joins the Sports Politika podcast to discuss her DiEM25 petition to banish Israel from international sports amid the ongoing destruction of Gaza.

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Katarina Pijetlovic giving her talk at Play the Game 2024 (Photo: Thomas Søndergaard/Play the Game)

“Gianni Infantino doesn’t feel Palestinian today.”

This was among the most poignant lines in a speech delivered by Katarina Pijetlovic, associate professor at the Catolica Global School of Law in Lisbon, during the 2024 Play the Game conference in Trondheim, Norway. Her talk underscored the glaring disparity in international sports organizations' reactions to the war in Gaza compared to their responses to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

I was present for Katarina’s presentation a few weeks ago in Trondheim and immediately realized she would be an ideal guest for an episode of the Sports Politika podcast.

Katarina has been outspoken in her support for the Palestinian cause, and has emerged as a vocal critic of Israel amid the ongoing war, which has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians and displaced more than 1.6 million people in Gaza.

Katarina is also one of the co-organizers of a petition to suspend Israel in sports that was published by 'The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025.’ The petition has garnered more than 81,000 signatures to date. 

Here is what the petition calls for:

  • An immediate suspension of Israel from participation in all international sports until it fully complies with international law and sports regulations

  • For global and European sports governing bodies to immediately uphold their statutory obligations – especially their own rules on human rights and non-discrimination given Russian, South African and other precedents. This would include, inter alia, a ban on Israel competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and UEFA’s EURO. 

You can view Katarina’s entire presentation at Play the Game 2024, titled Double standards in the treatment of Palestine by the sport governing bodies, here.

You can watch the presentation here as part of a session called Political neutrality - A utopian dream for sport.

The DiEM25 petition to suspend Israel from international sport can be found here.

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Sports Politika
Sports Politika
A podcast that delves into the intricate world of sports, power and politics.