An alleged search by Israeli forces of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) headquarters in the occupied West Bank has been condemned by the president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as unacceptable.
The PFA claimed that three Israeli military vehicles raided the footballing body's compound and took the IDs of a number of employees, preventing them from entering the facility, before interrogating them. The Israeli forces then proceeded to search the building, the PFA added.
In a statement on the AFC website, president Sheik Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa said that Israeli forces "breaking into the PFA headquarters" set "a dangerous precedent that requires the international sporting family to stand together and support the PFA."
He added that the AFC would cooperate with the sport's world body, Fifa, to "study ways and mechanisms to put an end to the suffering of Palestinian football, and send a tough message to the Israeli authorities to stop its attacks on various parts of the Palestinian footballing system."
The Israeli military have denied the PFA and AFC claims and said that no raid had taken place at the facility and it had not been targeted by its forces.
The military claimed that a routine patrol had seen forces request IDs of Palestinians and had followed them into the compound after they said that their cards were in the football association building.
Earlier this year, Israeli forces reportedly shot two Palestinian footballers in the feet, preventing them from playing the sport ever again.
The two teenagers, Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were walking home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram in the central West Bank when Israeli forces allegedly opened fire without warning.
After the incident, Palestinian Football Association chair Jibril Rajoub said the group would "demand the expulsion of Israel from Fifa".
"Israeli brutality against them [the teenagers] emphasises the occupation's insistence on destroying Palestinian sport," he said.
The Palestinian national team joined Fifa in 1998 and has started to compete in international competitions, securing their first win in May after defeating the Philippines 1-0 to secure a spot in the AFC Asia Cup.