FIFA Member Federations to Consider Suspending Israel

Agenda for upcoming meeting includes a recent Palestinian call for Israel's expulsion from the world soccer's governing body.


FIFA's 209 member federations will be asked to consider suspending Israel from world soccer just before they elect their president this month.

FIFA published an agenda Monday for its election congress on May 29, including a late proposal by Palestinian football officials to suspend Israel.

The move, needing a three-quarter majority to pass, is unlikely to succeed after FIFA President Sepp Blatter said last month he opposed it.

Palestinian officials insist Israel's football federation should be punished for restrictions imposed by security forces which limit movement of players, opposing teams and equipment.

Earlier in Zurich, Blatter is scheduled to update on his mediating between the two federations.

The FIFA election is the final main item of business.

Blatter is strongly favored to win and extend his 17-year presidential reign.

On Saturday, reports surfaced that Palestine will seek Israel's expulsion from world soccer's governing body at this month's FIFA Congress, FA president Jibril Rajoub has told Reuters.

Last year Rajoub agreed to drop a resolution urging delegates to take sanctions against Israel at FIFA's Congress in Sao Paulo but he said on Friday he would press ahead with the same proposal in Zurich on May 29.

He added he "would not make the concessions" he made when withdrawing the proposal a year ago because nothing had improved in the way Israel "were persecuting Palestine footballers, athletes and the movement of sporting equipment".

"Enough is enough," Rajoub said after attending the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) aimed at building more cooperation between the two organizations.

"Last year we dropped the resolution when Europe got involved and the Israelis promised to co-operate in improving the situation," said the Palestine FA chief in the Bahrain capital Manama.