FIFA president Sepp Blatter (L) and Palestine Football Association President Jibril Rajoub speak to the press during their visit to the sports club in the village of Dura al-Qaraa, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 20, 2015
FIFA president Sepp Blatter (L) and Palestine Football Association President Jibril Rajoub speak to the press during their visit to the sports club in the village of Dura al-Qaraa, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 20, 2015 © Abbas Momani - AFP/File
FIFA president Sepp Blatter (L) and Palestine Football Association President Jibril Rajoub speak to the press during their visit to the sports club in the village of Dura al-Qaraa, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 20, 2015
AFP
Last updated: May 28, 2015

Palestinians refuse to back down on Israel vote

Palestine's football chief on Wednesday refused to back down on a threatened vote to expel Israel from football's governing body after talks with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Earlier, Arab delegations walked out of a confederation meeting when Israel's Football Association president tried to address them.

"Nothing has changed, the vote is still on the agenda," Palestinian Football Association president Jibril Rajoub told AFP after the meeting with Blatter and as the countdown to Friday's vote gathered pace.

"The meeting lasted about one hour, there were no results," Rajoub said.

Palestine, which has been a FIFA member since 1998, wants the governing body to expel Israel over its restrictions on the movement of Palestinian players.

The vote is scheduled for Friday and needs a two thirds majority of the 209 members to succeed.

Blatter has been lobbying furiously to try to avoid the vote, even going to the Middle East last week to meet Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Blatter strongly opposes the vote saying it is bringing politics into football and that Israel has not breached FIFA's statutes.

Israel Football Association President Ofer Eini was not in Wednesday's meeting and his delegation did not say whether contacts with Blatter or Rajoub were planned.

Arab delegations at a Confederation of African Football meeting walked out when Eini addressed the confederation in a Zurich hotel.

Rajoub said he opposed the protest and the Arab delegations should have stayed.

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