Israel Football Association
The Israel Football Association (, HaHit'aḥdut leKaduregel beIsrael- lit. 'The Association of Football in Israel), also known as IFA, is the governing body of football in Israel. It organizes the football leagues, Israeli Premier League, Israel State Cup, Toto Cup and the Israel national football team. The association is based in Ramat Gan. IFA was founded in 1928 as the Eretz Israel Football Association.
HistoryThe Eretz Israel Football Association was founded in August 1928 and applied for membership in the FIFA. It was accepted to FIFA on 6 June 1929 as the Eretz Israel Football Association. It was the first of 14 sports organizations which absorbed hundreds of leading sportsmen who immigrated in the wake of anti-Semitism in Europe. The first Israel State Cup was contested in 1928, and the football league was set up in 1932.
In 1954, the Israel Football Association was admitted to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). In 1974, the Israel Football Association was expelled from the AFC due to political pressure from Arab and Muslim members that refused to play against Israel. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the Israel Football Association was not affiliated with any confederation. During this period, the Israeli national teams were only playing in FIFA competitions occasionally in Oceania Football Confederation, UEFA and CONMEBOL qualifying tournaments.
In 1992, the IFA was admitted to UEFA as an associate member, and 2 years later as a full member. Since 1992, Israeli clubs have been playing in the various UEFA club competitions and the Israeli national teams play in UEFA championships.
Awards and recognitionIn 1979, Yosef Yekutieli, the founder of the IFA, was awarded the Israel Prize "for dedicating his life to promoting and laying the international foundation of Israeli sports."
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