FIFA Chief to Hear Palestinian Call for Israel's Expulsion

Sepp Blatter will also meet with Netanyahu.

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Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub, left, and FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Ramallah in April.
Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub, left, and FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Ramallah in April.Credit: Reuters

With Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub escalating his demands for Israel's expulsion from the international pitch, the president of the world soccer federation will arrive in the region tomorrow to meet with the two sides.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter will also meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday before completing his visit, which will include meetings with the heads of the Jordanian and Israeli soccer federations as well as one with Rajoub.

Following several Israeli arrests over the years of Palestinian soccer players on security charges, FIFA formed the Israel-Palestine Task Force last July, with the Israeli and Palestinian soccer federations agreeing to work together to facilitate freer movement of Palestinian players, officials and equipment in and out of the West Bank and Gaza.

In January, however, two teenage West Bank players were shot several times and badly wounded by Border Police on their way back from a practice. The Border Police say the two were about to throw bombs at an IDF checkpoint, which the players denied.

Since then, Rajoub been demanding that FIFA expel Israel at the world federation's congress in Brazil on the eve of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

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