FIFA urges Israel association to help

Updated: June 12, 2012, 12:29 PM ET
Associated Press

ZURICH -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called on Israel's soccer leaders to "urgently" help a Palestine player who is on a hunger strike in Israeli custody.

Blatter has written to the Israel Football Association of his "grave concern" after receiving reports that "several Palestine football players have allegedly been illegally detained."

Blatter asks IFA president Avi Luzon to intervene with Israeli authorities with "utmost urgency" because of the "alarming situation" facing Mahmoud Sarsak.

Sarsak is reported to have been on a hunger strike for almost three months.

Palestine officials and global players' union FIFPro says Sarsak has been held without trial since 2009.

They say he was stopped at a Gaza Strip checkpoint while traveling to an international match.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press