Sexwale’s visit to Israel “stumbles”

Sexwale’s visit to Israel “stumbles”

Inside World Football reports that “Sexwale emphasises dialogue as search for Palestine solution stumbles”.  The text of the article is given below and reveals that Sexwale did not manage to meet with the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport;  it seems that there was no progress in dialogue with the Israelis.  This is no surprise and suggests that FIFA will have to toughen up its position.  However, Sexwale did manage to enter Gaza on 1 July and visited damaged facilities in the company of the PFA’s Susan Shalabi and Fatah’s Tayseer Nasrallah.

Photo sequence of the visit to Gaza:

Inside World Football article: World Football article:

FIFA’s attempt to patch up differences between Israel and Palestine, overshadowed by ongoing corruption and reform issues, has been stepped up with the latest visit by former presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale who leads the Monitoring Committee to the region.

But the South African businessman says conflict and politics continue to hold up progress over the free movement of Palestinian players and equipment.

Sexwale was appointed to head the committee last year after the Palestinians dropped a proposal for the FIFA Congress to throw out Israel. The Palestinians claim Israeli security restrictions limit movement of their players and visiting teams and that Israel fails to issue relevant permits. Israel counters that there are serious security issues especially regarding movement in and out of Gaza ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

The FIFA delegation met representatives of both sides but a session with the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport had to be rescheduled due to flight delays after the terror attack on Istanbul airport.

“Although we understand politics, that is not the purpose of this mission. Politics and conflict do have a bearing on sporting issues and we need to ensure that they are managed so that they don’t overpower FIFA’s main objective of ensuring football for all,” said Sexwale.

“Therefore, it was very important for me to meet and discuss with the respective public authorities. I was very pleased to feel on both sides a real commitment towards facilitating the development of our game. Of course, the route is long and progress is slow but I am confident that we will find credible solutions.”

“As part of my mandate, I came here to see with my own eyes and listen to everyone. What I see is pain: pain that the Palestinian and Israeli people shouldn’t have to go through. This region needs peace, which comes through dialogue, and football can help in this dialogue. I will now report to the FIFA President and the Congress for them to take further decisions.”

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