The president of the Palestinian Football Association has been hit with a year-long ban for supposedly “inciting hatred and violence” against Argentina and Barcelona icon Lionel Messi.
As opposed to resisting an occupation whose impact on football violates FIFA rules, but which FIFA seems to prefer to ignore… / Palestinian FA president Jibril Rajoub banned for 'inciting hatred and violence' https://t.co/0qh7ClvcVh
— Tony Karon (@TonyKaron) August 24, 2018
The action comes after Jibril Rajoub called on football fans to burn pictures of the footballer if he decided to participate in a friendly against Israel in Jerusalem earlier this year.
The match between Argentina and Israel was eventually canceled despite an appeal by Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu to his Argentinian counterpart Mauricio Marcri to have the game go ahead as planned.
I’m definitely no fan of Jibril Rajoub, but it’s incredible @FIFAcom banned him for a year for calling for protests, while FIFA continues to allow Israel to blatantly flout its own rules against holding games in illegal settlements in occupied territories. https://t.co/lkCIvnd772
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) August 24, 2018
Rajoub’s plea caught FIFA’s attention, and he was fined $20,000 in addition to the year-long ban from attending any football matches. It added that he will “not be able to attend football matches or competitions in any official capacity, which includes, among others, participating in media activities at stadiums or in their vicinity on matchdays.”
The FIFA statement continued:
“These statements were made ahead of a friendly match scheduled for 9 June 2018 in Jerusalem between Israel and Argentina. The match was later canceled. The Disciplinary Committee held that Mr. Rajoub’s statements incited hatred and violence, and consequently imposed the above-mentioned sanctions.”
FIFA suspends Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub for 'inciting violence' https://t.co/rcOF7S9jFw
— Christopher Forsythe (@antoh_forsythe) August 25, 2018
Ofer Eini, the head of Israeli football, described Rajoub’s comments as “physical and brutal threats that crossed every red line.”
Rajoub has previously had run-ins with FIFA and the Israeli FA, calling for nations who engage in human rights violations to be “punished by suspension or expulsion,” though he didn’t mention Israel by name.
(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)