World football boss, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, is feeling pressure over the 2013 UEFA Under 21 tournament scheduled to be hosted by Israel, though he thinks the tournament will go ahead.
There has been growing opposition to allowing Israel to host the tournament, including from top world players, following Israel’s November attack on Gaza which killed more than 170 people and injured more than 1,200.
Blatter also promised that FIFA would help rebuild the Palestine Stadium in Gaza City that was badly damaged in the Israeli attacks.
The FIFA boss made the comments in an interview on the 21 December edition of the World Football program on the BBC World Service.
“It’s not a question of money here, it’s really a question of heart and soul of football,” Blatter said about the Gaza stadium, noting that the recent attack, although more devastating, was the second since 2008.
“I’m very much touched because I think let people play football because football is connecting people and football is giving hope. So therefore to destroy something which has been done for football hurts me personally,” Blatter added.
“My immediate reaction was to send them [Palestinians] a letter saying ‘we will rebuild that,’” Blatter revealed, and “with the help of the other entities we can rebuild the playing field.” more