Blatter proposes 'peace match'

2015-05-19 23:38
Sepp Blatter (AFP)

Jerusalem - FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, visiting the Middle East to try to persuade the Palestine FA (PFA) to drop a proposal to suspend Israel from the world body, on Tuesday proposed a peace match between their national teams.

Blatter appeared at a news conference in Jerusalem after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said he was "on a mission of peace". He meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestine FA chief Jibril Rajoub on Wednesday.

The PFA accuses Israel of hampering its activities and restricting the movement of players between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel cites security concerns for the restrictions it imposes.

Although Blatter declined to detail what was said in his meeting with Netanyahu and Israeli FA chairman Ofer Eini concerning the Palestinian agenda item at the FIFA Congress on May 29, he said he could reveal his plan for a "peace match".

"One item I can tell you that I spoke about with (Netanyahu)... to arrange a match for peace between the national teams of Israel and Palestine and FIFA would be happy to organise it," Blatter said.

He added that Netanyahu promised he would attend such a fixture but, with enmities between Israelis and Palestinians running high, it is hard to envision such a match taking place in the foreseeable future.

The PFA has also cited curbs Israel places on the import into the Palestinian territories of sports equipment, visits by foreign teams and individuals and protests Israel's inclusion of teams from settlements in the occupied West Bank in its leagues.

FIFA has been trying to find a solution to the Palestinian complaints for more than two years and Rajoub has so far stood firm, insisting the proposal to suspend Israel is put to a vote.

Swiss Blatter told reporters in Jerusalem he did not have the power to remove the item from the agenda and described it as "a very unusual and very serious matter."

If FIFA were to suspend Israel, it would bar all its teams and clubs from competing in international competitions such as the Champions League and Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Israel is a member of European soccer's governing body UEFA and Palestine is part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Read more on:    fifa  |  sepp blatter  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.