Expert: Kick terror out of football

Israel Institute for Strategic Studies senior associate writes scathing letter condemning FIFA's blind eye to members' support of terror.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)
Flash 90

On Wednesday, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies Senior Associate and Co-Founder of the Netanyahu Terror Victims Organization Barry Shaw sent a letter to Chairperson of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee Justice Anin Yeboah about FIFA's failure to appropriately address the issue of terrorism in football.

Last month, The Palestinian Football Association, a member of FIFA, glorified terrorism by naming its annual soccer tournament after terrorist Abu Jihad - Khalil Al-Wazir, who killed 125 Israelis.

Several other tournaments have been named after terrorists over the years - while FIFA says nothing.

In his letter, Shaw wrote, "It is with dismay that you, and your predecessor, Mr. J. Cambrelang, have so far failed to address our complaints about the exploitation of football for the encouragement and glorification of terrorism."

"I read of your quick action in warning the Mexican Football Federation about 'insulting and discriminatory chants' of some of their fans. We have yet to hear that you are taking the same urgent action against the promotion of terror that leave people not insulted but dead and injured.

"I wrote to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on May 1 and again on June 1 and we were part of a collective complaint that was submitted to the Monitoring Committee on March 29.

"In each of these documents we listed hard evidence of the promotion of terrorism at football events organized by Palestinian football teams and under the auspices of the Palestinian Football Association. Among these teams is the Palestinian football champion team.

"We further listed outlandish exhortations glorifying terrorists and racist insults by Jibril Rajoub who is Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association and a FIFA Delegate.

"Further still, I have quoted examples of footballers and fans that have gone out and committed lethal acts of terror.

"The evidence of the exploitation of Palestinian football for the glorification and indoctrination to terror go back as far as 2002 when tournaments took place which honored, among the murderous terrorists, the suicide bombers that killed so many people in my hometown of Netanya.

"This cannot stand and I demand that FIFA devote at least the same attention and resources to KICK INCITEMENT TO TERROR OUT OF FOOTBALL by investigating the evidence we have presented to you and to severely punish those found guilty of these international crimes.

"I attach copies of the documents I submitted to your committee on May 1 and June 1. These documents were also submitted to the Investigatory Committee of FIFA.

"You may be shocked to learn that, at precisely the time that FIFA Delegate, Jibril Rajoub, was attending the FIFA Congress in Bahrain, the Central branch of his Palestinian Football Association was supervising the 23rd Annual MARTYR ABU JIHAD Football Championship to honor the memory of a terrorist who murdered 125 civilians. This event was organized by the AL NASSER football club with the participation of twelve (12) clubs.

" Either FIFA was not aware of this gross breach of FIFA rules and Code of Ethics and Conduct, or it was aware of it (it is an annual event) but chose to ignore it, which is itself a breach of FIFA rules.

"Upon being informed that FIFA intends to address this serious issue I will submit a full case history of two decades of the abuse of football for the glorification and incitement to terror in all aspects of Palestinian football and by Jibril Rajoub."