Football: Asian head wants 'illegal Israel practices' stopped

Football: Asian head wants 'illegal Israel practices' stopped

The head of Asian football declared his commitment to tackling the "illegal Israeli practices" hindering Palestinian football on Thursday, adding that he expects measures to come in the new year after talks with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Blatter both voiced their displeasure last month after Israeli army forces stormed the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) headquarters in Jerusalem.

PFA head Jibril Al Rajoub called on FIFA to sanction Israel and show them "the red card" after the incident, which he said followed the blocking of Palestinian players from leaving to play in international tournaments.

The trio met in Morocco along with Union of Arab National Olympic Committees President Prince Talal bin Bader Al Saud, with Shaikh Salman confident measures would come against former Asian Football Confederation members Israel by May.

"Mr. Blatter showed a significant understanding of the suffering of football in Palestine due to the illegal Israeli practices which are against all international charters and conventions," the Bahraini said in a statement after the meeting.

"This subject will be raised at the next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee and we are confident that the next stage will see steps taken to support football in Palestine, and give guarantees to stop the Israeli violations.

"Palestine is an important member of the Asian Football Confederation and we will not spare any effort in supporting the PFA, and will work together to stop the Israeli plans to hinder the development of Palestinian football, which has achieved tremendous success of late despite all the difficulties and obstacles."

Several FIFA meetings are scheduled to take place in March but the next executive committee meeting of football's world governing body will take place in Zurich in May.

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