Ahead of World Cup, FIFA president won’t penalize Israel over Palestinian travel

FIFA's President will not take action against Israel despite Palestinian demands. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Sepp Blatter does not plan to take action against Israel at a June 9-10 gathering of soccer’s international governing body, just before the start of the World Cup in Brazil. Palestinians have accused Israeli forces of routinely preventing their athletes from traveling between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. 

On Monday, Blatter met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub in Ramallah, and he promised to work on a “solution” to the travel issue. Israel, meanwhile, said that it has eased some of the travel restrictions.

The head of the Israeli Football Association, Avi Luzon, suggested holding a “peace” match between the Israeli and Palestinian teams.

“I think that soccer can be a bridge for peace and if [the Palestinians] will want, as I have offered more than once to Jibril Rajoub, that once he decides [to accept my offer] I’m willing to hold a match between Israel and Palestine for peace,” said Luzon, reported The Jerusalem Post.

Posted on May 28, 2014 .