FIFA to consider Israel suspension request….

The Palestinian Football Association is seeking the suspension of Israel from world football. A proposal to that effect has been included on the agenda for FIFA’s annual congress in Zurich and would need a 75% majority to succeed. Palestine has complained that Israel has continued to hamper its football activities through restrictions on the movement of their athletes between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israel cites security concerns for restrictions it imposes but says it has eased travel for Palestinian athletes between the territories. It is unlikely to succeed after FIFA president Sepp Blatter said last month he opposed the move, which needs three-quarters of votes to pass if a ballot is allowed. 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 the meeting in Zurich, Blatter — who met several times in recent weeks with Palestinian football leader Jibril Rajoub — is scheduled to update on his mediation between the two federations. Talks began in 2013. Blatter said ahead of meeting Rajoub in Cairo last month that suspending a member “is always something which harms the whole organization.” FIFA suspensions prevent a member’s national and club teams taking part in international matches and meetings, and block FIFA funding.

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