FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association
JNS.org – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head Sepp Blatter said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contrary to Palestinian complaints, Israel has not violated any FIFA statutes and should not be suspended from international soccer’s governing body.
“We should not come to one federation saying we will exclude them,” said Blatter, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“If the national association is fulfilling its obligations then there is no need to intervene,” he said. “I’m on a mission for peace and not on a mission to force anybody to do something. The discussions that I will have with the Palestinians will evoke the messages I have obtained from Israel’s political authorities.”
The Palestinians, who have been members of FIFA since 1998, have initiated a motion at the upcoming FIFA congress on May 28 to bar Israel from international competition over the Jewish state’s alleged restrictions on the movement of soccer players in and out of the disputed territories. The Palestinians also oppose the participation of five soccer clubs located in Judea and Samaria communities in Israeli national championships. The motion will need a three-quarters majority of 209 FIFA members to pass.