FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter at the Ordinary UEFA Congress in Vienna, Austria on March 24, 2015
FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter at the Ordinary UEFA Congress in Vienna, Austria on March 24, 2015 © Joe Klamar - AFP/File
FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter at the Ordinary UEFA Congress in Vienna, Austria on March 24, 2015
<
>
AFP
Last updated: April 5, 2015

Blatter to meet Palestine football chief over bid to bar Israel

The FIFA president is to meet the Palestinian football chief to discuss the latter's request that Israel be barred from international competition, the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) said Saturday.

A PFA statement said that FIFA's Sepp Blatter would meet Jibril Rajoub ahead of the world governing body's next congress in Cairo in late May, but did not give a date for the talks.

FIFA declined to comment when contacted by AFP on Saturday.

The Palestinians want Israel suspended because of their "racist behaviour against Arabs", with the statement claiming that Blatter had recently contacted Rajoub and assured him that "serious discussions were under way for the Palestinian draft resolution to be submitted to a vote at the next congress in May".

The PFA also protested at the creation of "five clubs in settlements on land occupied since 1967, clubs participating in Israeli national championships in violation of international law".

The PFA last called for Israel's suspension in November after Israeli forces raided its headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

It has also cried foul over Israeli travel restrictions on Palestinian players.

To be passed the Palestinian resolution must win the support of at least 156 other delegates at the 209-member congress.

The Palestinians were upgraded from observer entity to a United Nations "observer state" in 2012, and although not yet universally recognised as a state, their national football team gained FIFA recognition in 1998.

A FIFA delegation visited the Gaza Strip in January and pledged $1 million (840,000 euros) to help rebuild stadiums there, many of which were damaged during the conflict between Israel and Hamas last July and August.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272