FIFA wants action on hunger striking player
June 12, 2012 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
Palestine footballer Mahmoud Sarsak has been in prison in Israel since 2009.
- FIFA president Sepp Blatter calls for IFA to act on imprisoned Palestine players
- Mahmoud Sarsak has been in jail in Israel since June 2009
- Sarsak has been on hunger strike in protest against his continued incarceration
- FIFPro calls the situation an "injustice" and call for Sarsak's release
(CNN) -- The president of soccer's global governing body has urged the Israeli Football Association (IFA) to intervene in the case of a hunger striking Palestinian footballer.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter "expressed grave concern" regarding the incarceration of members of the Palestine team in Israel, including Mahmoud Sarsak who is on hunger strike.
"The reports FIFA received state that in apparent violation of their integrity and human rights and without the apparent right of a due process (trial), several Palestine football players have allegedly been illegally detained by Israeli authorities," read a statement on the organization's website.
"FIFA urgently calls on IFA to draw the attention of the Israeli competent authorities to the present matter, with the aim of ensuring the physical integrity of the concerned players as well as their right for due process."
FIFA urgently calls on IFA to draw the attention of the Israeli competent authorities to the present matter
The global organization which represents professional footballers FIFPro has called for the immediate release of Sarsak, who has been imprisoned since being arrested at a checkpoint while attempting to enter the West Bank in June 2009..
"FIFPro, the voice of all professional footballers in the world, demands that Mahmoud Sarsak be released from prison," said the release on FIFPro's website.
"The 25-year-old footballer has not eaten for 85 days and has lost approximately thirty kilos in weight. According to human rights organization Addameer the situation of Mahmoud is critical.
"FIFPro is deeply concerned about Sarsak's health and about his imprisonment and therefore asks for his release from jail."
FIFPro's vice-president Philippe Piat described Sarsak's situation as an "injustice."
"The freedom of movement is a fundamental right of every citizen," said Piat. "It is also written down in the FIFA Regulations that players must be allowed to play for the national team of their country.
"But actually for some footballers it is impossible to defend the colors of their country. They cannot cross the border. They cannot visit their family. They are locked up."
The Israeli Embassy in London was not immediately available for comment.
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
Today's five most popular stories