“Rajoub was banned from attending any soccer matches in an official capacity for 12 months starting Friday.”
In June, the Argentine soccer team, which includes superstar Lionel Messi, canceled a friendly against Israel in Jersualem after players received threats “that exceeded those of the Islamic State.” Video even captured Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub threatening Messi.
Due to these actions, FIFA has banned Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub for one year.
From The Times of Israel:
In its decision, FIFA’s disciplinary committee cited comments by the Palestinian FA president “calling on football fans to target the Argentinian Football Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi.”
Rajoub was banned from attending any soccer matches in an official capacity for 12 months starting Friday.
Rajoub, who is also head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,300).
At the same time, FIFA member federations also rejected a Palestinian proposal to amend world soccer’s statutes with a stronger stance against human rights abuses. FIFA members voted 156 to 35 against the motion, which was formally supported by the Iraq and Algeria soccer bodies.
Rajoub can still fun the foundation and attend FIFA meetings. However, his “ban will apply for the 2019 Asian Cup in United Arab Emirates, which kicks off in January, and likely include the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifying program.”
Argentine FA chief Claudio Tapia said earlier on Wednesday that there were “threats” but gave no details. He confirmed the match’s cancellation and apologized to Israeli fans.
The Israel Football Association (IFA) accused the Palestinians of crossing a “red line” by inciting anger towards the Argentinian players in order to scupper the match.
“(Rajoub’s) aim was to harm our country through soccer,” IFA Chairman Ofer Eini said.
“There is an issue of personal threats against players. If a politician publicly calls to burn a shirt, somebody could take it a step further. I don’t think that the people who run world soccer can ignore this,” he said.
— Am Yisrael Chai (@ZA_PS) June 6, 2018
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