FIFA confirms taking action against PA soccer chief

Governing body of soccer confirms disciplinary proceedings have started against Jibril Rajoub over his remarks against Messi.

Elad Benari,

Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub
Flash 90

FIFA, the governing body of soccer, confirmed on Thursday it has started disciplinary proceedings against Palestinian Football Association (PFA) chief Jibril Rajoub, after he called for protest against Lionel Messi and his plan to play with Argentina in Jerusalem.

In his speech, Rajoub encouraged burning Messi shirts if he played in Israel, and compared modern Israel to Nazi Germany.

The Argentina-Israel match was canceled after terrorist organizations sent messages and threats to the team’s players and their families, with explicit threats to harm their lives and their family's lives.

"The FIFA disciplinary committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against the president of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub," a spokesman for the world body said in a statement to AFP.

Its decision, he wrote, "came as a result of his statements, widely reported in the media, with respect to the international friendly match that was scheduled to take place on 9 June 2018 between Israel and Argentina."

He added he could not elaborate while the proceedings were ongoing.

Last week the Israel Football Association said it would file a complaint to the world football body accusing Rajoub of pressuring Argentine players and officials staff into cancelling the game in Israel.

The association's chairman, Ofer Eini, said in a statement Thursday that Rajoub had "crossed each and every red line".

Rajoub had in the past attempted to force FIFA to ban six Israeli teams based in Judea and Samaria. He claims that their presence there is in breach of FIFA statutes, which forbids another member association playing on another territory without permission.

Last October, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced his organization would not intervene in the issue and that it considers the matter closed.

Rajoub later accused FIFA of caving to Israeli pressure, saying Infantino “did not deal appropriately” with his complaints against Israel.

Rajoub, despite being a member of Fatah which is often touted as a peace partner of Israel’s, is notorious for his anti-Israel actions.

He has in the past said that Jews deserved the genocide inflicted on them by the Nazis. Prior to that he declared that if the PA had a nuclear bomb, it would use it against Israel.

Earlier this year, Rajoub was filmed as he verbally confronted Border Police officers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, telling one of them to "shut up, go to hell."








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