Palestinian Football Chief Investigated by FIFA for Incitement of Terror
Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub’s has long exploited soccer for terrorist purposes. Thankfully, FIFA is now investigating his actions.
Jibril Rajoub, the chairman of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), is currently being investigated by FIFA’s ethics committee as reported by the Jerusalem post. According to the chief of the FIFA ethics committee, Rajoub and the PFA have actively and passively supported terrorism, by “promoting and glorifying terrorism; inciting hatred and violence; promoting racism; and preventing the use of the game of soccer to build a bridge for peace.”
Rajoub’s tenure as head of the PFA has been fraught with controversy. Just last year, ahead of a friendly match between Israel and Argentina before the 2018 World Cup, he made threats against Argentine striker Lionel Messi. Prior to the match Rajoub called on fans to burn Messi pictures and jerseys if he decided to play the match against Israel. The action resulted in fines of multiple thousands of dollars.
PFA head Jibril Rajoub has been accused of violating the international football association’s bylaws by promoting and glorifying terrorism and racism. https://t.co/IfviXudwXn— Jewish News Syndicate (@JNS_org) June 12, 2019
Martin Nagoga, head of the FIFA Ethics Committee, sent Rajoub a letter in January, outlining the complaints and calling for him to respond individually to each complaint, as well as provide any supportive evidence. The deadline has since passed, but any potential response has not been publicized.
Over the years, Rajoub has also named Palestinian teams after terrorists, evoking their names and encouraging others to follow in their path, even encouraging the kidnapping of soldiers. There are countless other examples, too, when Rajoub has used soccer as a political tool against Israel.
FIFA should be applauded for finally taking a strong stance and holding one of the most prominent exploiters of International football accountable for his sinister actions. Soccer is supposed to build bridges and work for peace, not be used as a vehicle for terror and corrupt political decisions.