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Netanyahu warns Blatter that expelling Israel will destroy Fifa

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter
    Fifa president Sepp Blatter

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that banning Israel from Fifa would lead to the destruction of world football's governing body.

    A motion to expel Israel, proposed by the Palestinian Football Association, was due to be discussed today at Fifa's congress in Zurich.

    It comes at the end of a week when the organisation has been rocked by a corruption scandal that has seen nine senior officials arrested.

    Mr Netanyahu said: "The effort to hurt Israel will destroy Fifa because if they start with one country they will move on to another and it will collapse the organisation. The effort to suspend Israel is severe and we will resist it unequivocally," he said

    Meanwhile the leading contender in the Liberal Democrats leadership race has attacked the move to expel Israel as “ridiculous and unacceptable”.

    Tim Farron, MP for South Lakes, said: "An organisation which is widely seen as corrupt and which handed the World Cup to Russia and Qatar without regard for human rights, would be guilty of the most appalling hypocrisy were it now to exclude Israel from membership.

    “With FIFA’s reputation in tatters, as it is, it needs to concentrate on restoring trust, not exporting conflict.”

    Fourteen people were indicted this week after an American investigation into allegations of bribery and fraud.

    Fifa delegates are voting today for a new president. Sepp Blatter, the incumbent who is standing for re-election, has been urged to quit.

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