SAO PAULO (AP) — Like many other would-be mediators, it appears FIFA is unlikely to reach a Middle East agreement.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter had set his sights on resolving a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians over travel restrictions before the World Cup began. But at the annual FIFA Congress Wednesday, a day before the games begin, no accord was reached. Blatter said the talks have reached some "positive results" and FIFA would continue to mediate.
Late last month, Blatter said he hoped an agreement would be "signed and sealed" before Thursday's opener.
Palestinians complain that some of their players have faced restrictions on their movement and have asked FIFA to suspend Israel if these are not lifted. Israel says the restrictions have nothing to do with sport, but rather security.