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
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Two Belgian "brain coaches" are helping transform AC Milan from big-spender to developer of young talent, says CNN's John Sinnott.
October 22, 2013 -- Updated 1457 GMT (2257 HKT)
Shootings, attempted assassinations and intimidation - welcome to Libyan football in 2013.
October 18, 2013 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
Zahir Belounis' limbo existence is almost at an end. After a two-year nightmare, he has been told he will finally receive his Qatari exit visa.
October 10, 2013 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
France's multicultural stars shone brightest at the World Cup 15 years ago -- now could it be Belgium's turn to do the same in Brazil next year?
Adnan Januzaj and Diego Costa have highlighted a major dilemma for international football, says CNN's John Sinnott.
CNN's Alex Thomas reports from FIFA HQ after the ruling body delayed its decision on the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
FIFA's credibility rides on finding a solution to the Qatar World Cup controversy, says CNN's Ben Wyatt.
October 2, 2013 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have cost Paris Saint-Germain $30 million, but you can get your own chunk of the Swedish striker for just $41.
September 27, 2013 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
Anton Hysen is a football player. He is also gay. "We can run, we can play, we can score. So what's the problem?" he says.
September 20, 2013 -- Updated 1602 GMT (0002 HKT)
Did Chelsea make the wrong move in reappointing Jose Mourinho as manager? Or is it okay to get back with an ex?
Tottenham's chairman played the European transfer market with all the strategic flair of a chess Grandmaster, says CNN's Don Riddell.
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 1117 GMT (1917 HKT)
"We are women and we have to be proud of that," Brazil star Marta tells CNN's "An Uneven Playing Field" documentary.
July 4, 2013 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
Fast cars, fast women and fast on their way to court -- it would seem some footballers are renowned for flouting the rules when it comes to the need to speed.
NN World Sport examines why racism continues to be a problem in football and what is being done to tackle discrimination.
Today's five most popular stories