ZURICH: Israeli football leaders have told Sepp Blatter that the attempt to suspend them from world football is an affront not only to them but to FIFA and Blatter personally writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Ofer Eini, chairman of the Israel Football Association, and chief executive Rotem Kamer met FIFA president Blatter in Zurich on Wednesday in an attempt to head off a resolution to congress on May 29.
Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestine Football Federation, has registered a proposal on the congress agenda demanding the suspension of Israel in the long-running row over (the lack of) freedom of movement for athletes and sporting goods.
Eini has insisted that his association has done all it can but that it has no control over the policies and activities of the Israeli security service.
Last week Eini flew to Switzerland to engage the support of Michel Platini, the president of UEFA. Israel is a member of the European federation while Palestine is a member of the Asian Football Confederation.
Blatter is keen to avert an Israel-Palestine row casting a dark cloud over a congress at which he envisages being re-elected as president of the world federation.
IFA chairman Eini reportedly told Blatter, during their meeting: “This request in FIFA congress is not only a disgrace for Israel and for the IFA, but also a disgrace for you and for FIFA.”
Blatter reiterated his position that any member association fulfilling its statutory duties should not be suspended and indicated that, as far as he was aware, this applied to the IFA.
Eini has also written to the presidents of all the world’s 209 football federations urging them to reject the Palestinian resolution.
A meeting between Eini and Rajoub has been scheduled shortly in Zurich.
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