FIFA Chief to Hold Eleventh-hour Talks With Israelis, Palestinians

Sepp Blatter is trying to convince the two sides to sign a memorandum of understanding at this week's FIFA congress.

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

The president of FIFA Sepp Blatter will meet with Palestinian and Israeli officials over the next 48 hours, as he attempts to convince both sides to sign a memorandum of understanding at this week's FIFA congress at the eleventh hour, according to Inside World Football.

Some members of the Palestinian national team have been prevented from travel by what Israel calls security restrictions, and the head of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, has called for FIFA sanctions against Israel.

At the end of May, Blatter said he was determined to solve the Palestinian association's ongoing problems with Israel in high-level meetings.

In a statement following a meeting of FIFA's executive committee, Blatter said that he would hold "further meetings with all stakeholders" ahead of the Congress "when the issue will be tackled," Inside World Football reported.

However the Palestinian Football Association has released a statement saying that its deputy general secretary Mohammed Amassi was stopped from traveling to Brazil, where the World Cup begins this week. Rajoub has called a news conference on Monday afternoon to update the media.