FIFA President Sepp Blatter
FIFA President Sepp Blatter Reuters

Sepp Blatter, president of the world soccer federation FIFA, on Tuesday rejected the Palestinian Authority (PA) attempt to have Israel blocked from international competitions.

While attending a Confederation of African Football (CAF) meeting in Cairo which is to select the host of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations this Wednesday, Blatter spoke about the request filed by the PA's Palestinian Football Association (PFA).

When asked by AFP about the request, Blatter said that "such a situation shall not occur at the FIFA congress because suspension of a federation for any reason is always something which harms the whole organization."

"I will meet Mr. Jibril Rajoub, president of Palestine Football federation, later this afternoon. I can't give you more details," added Blatter, who is running for a fifth term in office in the FIFA elections next month.

Rajoub had called for Israel to be suspended for its "racist behavior against Arabs." The PA's motion will need the support of at least 156 other delegates at the 209-member FIFA congress.

Despite the claims of "racism," Israel has been criticized by some precisely for leniency concerning the Arab teams within the Israeli league. Israel has also not opposed the acceptance of a PA team into FIFA, despite the fact that the PA is not a country.

The Arab team Bani Sakhnin has long been a focal point of rabid anti-Israel sentiment.

And yet Israel let the team off with a minor fine last October, after it honored former Arab MK Azmi Bishara, founder of the Balad party and a traitor who fled Israel after helping guide Hezbollah's missiles.