FIFA suspends PA's soccer czar over call to burn Messi shirts

"The Disciplinary Committee has decided that Jibril Rajoub's utterances promote hatred and violence."

Guy Cohen,

Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub
Flash 90

The international soccer federation, FIFA, has suspended the head of the Palestinian Authority's soccer federation, Jibril Rajoub, for one year.

"The Disciplinary Committee decided that Jibril Rajoub's utterances "incited hatred and violence," FIFA announced Friday.

The suspension is punishment for Rajoub's call to burn Lionel Messi shirts and photos with the likeness of soccer megastar, when Messi was scheduled to play a friendly match in Israel on June 9.

The match was eventually cancelled.

FIFA stated that "The Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the President of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), Jibril Rajoub, with a 12-month match suspension and a fine of CHF 20,000 for breaching article 53 (Inciting hatred and violence) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, following media statements he gave calling on football fans to target the Argentinian Football Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi."

"The Disciplinary Committee held that Mr Rajoub’s statements incited hatred and violence, and consequently imposed the above-mentioned sanctions," the federation added.

The 12-month match suspension entails a ban on taking part in any future match or competition during the given period. Rajoub will not be able to attend football matches or competitions in any official capacity. This includes participating in media activities at stadiums or in their vicinity on match days.


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