BLATTER ISRAELThe president-elect of the Board of Deputies has written to Football Association chairman Greg Dyke urging him to vote against the Palestinian FA’s bid to ban Israel from international football.

Ahead of Friday’s Congress, which will see FIFA’s 209 associations vote on the motion, Jonathan Arkush’s letter, also sent to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland FAs, “strongly urges the Football Association and its delegates to the FIFA Congress to reject this blatant attempt to misuse FIFA for political ends”.

It reads: “The Palestinian motion is based on grievances that question the actions of the Israeli government, not the IFA. It’s a move that singles out Israel and aims to further political aims through world football’s governing body. “The issues raised by the PFA, which are political in nature, should be resolved through discussions between the Palestinian Authority and the state of Israel, not within the forum of FIFA.”

FIFA has stepped up its efforts to stop the motion being voted for, with a top official confirming: “Negotiations are still going on, but they are very complicated; there may not be a solution until the final hours.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is against the vote, believing sport and politics should not mix, held talks with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, although the latter remains intent on seeing the vote carried out.