Palestinians seek FIFA sanctions against Israel

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm •  Published: May 26, 2014

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The head of Palestinian soccer says he will urge sanctions against Israeli soccer authorities unless Israel lifts travel restrictions on some of his players and foreign visitors.

Palestine Football Association head Jibril Rajoub on Monday called Israel the "bully of the neighborhood." Israel cites concerns about possible attacks by Palestinian militants as the main reason for restrictions on movement.

Rajoub spoke during a joint news conference with visiting FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is to raise the Palestinian complaints Tuesday in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Blatter says he hopes a solution can be found before next month's FIFA Congress.

An Israeli government official and a spokeswoman for the Israel Football Association declined comment Monday, saying they did not want to speak before the Blatter-Netanyahu meeting.