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FIFA hosts Israeli, Palestinian football leaders for talks

Without pointing the finger directly, the 79-year-old has claimed that in the past, one continental federation had tried to exert a dominance over the others.

ZURICH -- A FIFA panel aiming to improve Israeli-Palestinian football relations has met for the first time and agreed a follow-up session in the Middle East next month.

FIFA says it hosted the two football federations' leaders on Wednesday with panel chairman Tokyo Sexwale, a South African businessman.

Sexwale, who some football officials want to be a FIFA presidential candidate, was appointed in May after Palestinians dropped a request for the FIFA Congress to vote on suspending Israel.

Palestinians...

Palestine complain to FIFA over player they say Israel detained

JERUSALEM -- The head of the Palestine Football Association has complained to FIFA that one of their players was detained by Israel, an incident he says illustrates his demand that the Israelis be suspended.

Jibril Rajoub's letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter says a player was stalled while trying to leave Israel to attend a training session in Tunisia.

Israeli media quoted security officials as saying the player was briefly detained because he had served as a courier for Hamas in the past.

Blatter...

FIFA's Sepp Blatter claims progress made in Israel-Palestine spat

FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he is making progress in resolving a spat between Palestinian and Israeli soccer leaders and hopes to avoid a vote to suspend Israel.

Blatter says progress was made after speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. But he says one obstacle remains because the Palestinians are demanding that Israeli teams based in settlements in the West Bank be banned.

Blatter is scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday.

Palestinians...

FIFA's Sepp Blatter meets with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu on Palestine

JERUSALEM -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday he is on a "mission of peace" to resolve tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian soccer federations in the hope of staving off a Palestinian bid to oust Israel from the world governing body.

As part of his vision of using sports as a bridge between people, Blatter proposed holding a peace match in Zurich between the Israeli and Palestinian national teams. Seated alongside Blatter, the president of the Israeli federation, Ofer Eini, immediately...