FIFA President Gianni Infantino wrote to the presidents of the Palestinian and Israeli Football Federations on Friday calling for “the immediate end of hostilities”.
Infantino offered “our deepest condolences to the Israel Football Association and the Palestine Football Association in light of the horrendous violence that has been occurring over the past days.”
The letter was sent to Moshe Shino Zuares, head of Israel’s FA and Jibril Rajoub, the president of the Palestinian FA.
“FIFA joins in calling for the immediate end of hostilities and the immediate relief of the suffering of the people of both Israel and Palestine,” Infantino said
The letter came six days after Hamas gunmen burst through the heavily militarised border around the Gaza Strip and killed more than 1,300 people — most of them civilians.
Nearly 1,800 Gazans — most of them civilians and including more 580 children — have been killed in waves of missile strikes on the densely populated enclave, the health ministry said.
Infantino said football can be a “vehicle for peace.”
“It is as heart-breaking as it is shocking to see a region, whose people have known such profound suffering over far too long, suffer even more.
“Of course, we know that football cannot solve the problems of the World, but it can play even a small part in bringing a light of hope where there appears to be only darkness ahead,” Infantino wrote.
On Thursday, Aleksander Ceferin, the president of European governing body UEFA wrote to the Israeli Football Association, a UEFA member.
“My heart goes out to all the victims and their families during these difficult times. It is an unimaginable tragedy, and the pain and sorrow are profound and resonate across the entire football community.”
“I pray for these deep wounds to heal and for a world where such senseless acts of violence have no place.”
UEFA on Sunday postponed “all matches scheduled” in Israel “in the next couple of weeks”.
That included Euro 2024 qualifiers against Switzerland, originally scheduled for Thursday, and Kosovo scheduled for Sunday.