FIFA adviser expresses sympathy for Palestinians

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) FIFA’s anti-racism adviser says he hopes to work to resolve the crisis between the Palestinian and Israeli soccer federations.

The Palestinians have asked FIFA to suspend the Israel Football Association because of travel restrictions on Palestinian players. Israeli officials say the restrictions are security-related, and Israeli soccer officials say the issue is beyond their control.

Tokyo Sexwale, head of the anti-racism sports initiative Global Watch, said Thursday during a visit to the West Bank that ”the suffering of the Palestinians has to come to an end.”

But he stopped short of endorsing the Palestinian bid to punish Israel and said ”we are helping (Israel) in the area of sport to get out of the position they have put themselves in.”