BLATTER ISRAEL

(L-R) Ofer Eini, Benjamin Netanyahu, Sepp Blatter and Miri Regev

FIFA President Sepp Blatter met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Tuesday as the Palestinian FA pursue their bid to have Israel banned from international football.

Blatter, who said the issue was his “number one challenge”, also met the head of the Israeli Football Association Ofer Eini and Minster of Sport Miri Regev, as he held last-gasp talks to stop the Israel future in the organisation being voted on at FIFA’s Congress on 29 May.

Netanyahu called on FIFA to give it fair play and not to allow itself and the sport to be used for the dissemination of mendacious propaganda against Israel and said he knows “Blatter objects to the politicisation of the sport”, which should be “a vehicle of goodwill among nations.” He added Israel provides aid to Palestinian football and that the politicisation of international football would cause the “deterioration of a great institution.”

Earlier in the day, IFA chief Rotem Kamer said the Palestinian attempt at looking to get Israel banned was “cynical” and had “nothing to do with sports”. He said: “We see it as a clear mix of politics and football, something which should not find a place in the FIFA Congress. We believe football in our region should be used as a bridge between people.”