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FIFA panel chairman Sexwale visits the Gaza Strip

July 1, 2016

BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) — The head of a special FIFA committee aimed at improving soccer relations between Israel and the Palestinians says conflict and politics are the main issues hindering progress.

Panel chairman Tokyo Sexwale made the comments in a short visit to Gaza on Friday. He says “most of the problems are also very political.”

Sexwale was appointed to head the committee last year after the Palestinians dropped a request for the FIFA Congress to vote on suspending Israel.

Palestinians say Israeli security restrictions limit movement of their players and visiting teams. Israel has cited security concerns, especially regarding movement in and out of Gaza ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Sexwale says his visit paves the way for a visit to by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, though he didn’t elaborate.

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