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16 Jun, 2013

World Football Chief Blatter to Visit Palestine in July

WAFA, Palestine News Agency

RAMALLAH, June 11, 2013 (WAFA) – Sepp Blatter, president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), is expected to visit Palestine in July to help alleviate the problems facing Palestinian athletes from the Israeli occupation, Jibril Rjoub, head of the Palestinian Football Association, said Tuesday.

He said in a press conference that five main issues will be tackled by Blatter during his visit: First, the Israeli restrictions on movement of Palestinian athletes and administrators; second, Israeli interference in the construction of football fields on the claim they are being built near settlements; third, inability to bring in equipment donated by FIFA for the Palestinian association; fourth, obstacles Israel puts in the way of international athletes coming to play in Palestine; and, fifth, Israel telling countries bringing athletes to Palestine not come under all kinds of pretexts.

He warned that unless Israel changes the way it treats Palestinian athletes, sanctions will be imposed on it and its membership in FIFA could be suspended for violating the organization’s laws and regulations.

Rjoub said Blatter will arrive on special plane to Tulkarm, then visit al-Faraa and after that go to Najah University before meeting President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

A new Palestinian sports satellite channel will also be inaugurated during Blatter’s visit, in addition to inaugurating the football association’s new headquarters in Ram, north of Jerusalem.