FIFA chief Blatter promises help for Palestinian soccer

Sepp Blatter is determined to solve the ongoing problems surrounding Palestinian soccer.

Harold Cunningham

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he is determined to solve the Palestinian Football Association’s ongoing problems with Israel in high-level meetings.

Some members of the Palestinian national team have been prevented from travel by what Israel calls security restrictions.

The head of the Palestinian association has called for FIFA sanctions against Israel.

Blatter told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting Monday that ”we shall find a solution” but that ”it will not be so easy to deal on the other side,” meaning Israel.

Blatter says he is meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

Blatter pledged his support, telling a beaming Abbas that ”your people, but also your football association, is not alone in the world.”

Blatter says he is a ”self-declared ambassador of the Palestine people.”