Blatter to travel to meet Israeli, Palestinian state leaders
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he will travel to meet Israeli and Palestinian government leaders next week, seeking to calm tension between their soccer federations before this month’s FIFA congress.
Blatter says he will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Tuesday, saying he is sure “Netanyahu would not receive the FIFA delegation if he would not be ready to make concessions.”
Israeli security restrictions limiting movement of Palestinian players, visiting teams and soccer equipment has provoked a proposal to suspend Israel from world soccer at the 209-nation FIFA meeting on May 29.
Blatter says he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday.
Blatter opposes the suspension vote, saying Israel has not broken FIFA statutes in a political issue outside of soccer’s control.