RAMALLAH, West Bank — FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he is making process in resolving a spat between Palestinian and Israeli soccer leaders and hopes to avoid a vote to suspend Israel.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter kicks a ball during the inauguration of a football stadium in the village Dura Al-Qari' near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. FIFA President Sepp Blatter said 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. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
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.
Palestinians say Israeli security restrictions are limiting the movement of Palestinian players, visiting teams and soccer equipment. Israel has cited security concerns, especially in Gaza, while its soccer association says the issue is political and beyond its control.
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