The chief of the Palestinian Football Federation (PFF), Jibril Rajoub, has sent letters to the European and Spanish football associations asking for Atletico Madrid to cancel a post-season May 21 friendly match with Israeli Beitar club in Jerusalem.
According to a post on the football association’s Facebook page last week, the letter said:
“We are not against them playing in Israel, but not in occupied Jerusalem.”
— Arab News (@arabnews) May 10, 2019
Rajoub has also sent word to the Spanish club calling on them to scrap the planned game.
However, Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, who owns a 15 percent stake in the team, told Channel 13 the game will go ahead.
Head of Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, gets "urgent medical treatment" in Israeli hospital — but still finds time to pressure Atlético Madrid team to cancel its visit to Israel for a game with Beitar Jerusalem in less than two weeks.https://t.co/sXfNVrf7K8
— (((Bennett Ruda))) (@daledamos) May 10, 2019
The PFF chief added that there are many Atletico Madrid fans in the Palestinian territories who are shocked they would play against a world-known racist team such as Beitar.
Officially named Beitar Trump Jerusalem Football Club, the team was established in 1936 as part of a nationalistic Zionist strategy. Since then the team has become a Zionist symbol and hub for far-right sentiments and fans in Israel.
Beitar Jerusalem, the Israeli right’s favorite football team, long considered a bastion of anti-Arab racism, has decided to adopt Trump as its middle name and will henceforth be known as Beitar Trump Jerusalem. Speaks for itself.
— Chemi Shalev (@ChemiShalev) May 13, 2018
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most prominent fans of the team.
The PFF is hopeful this will be reminiscent of June 2018 when Argentina’s national football team canceled their friendly game against Israel’s national team prior to the World Cup in Russia, after an intense campaign by the pro-Palestinian activists and groups calling for a peaceful boycott against the country.
(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)