MidEast

Report: FIFA Investigates Palestinian Football Chief for Glorifying Terrorism

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world’s governing body of soccer, reportedly launched an investigation into Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub for glorifying terror and inciting violence, a report claimed.

Palestinian Media Watch said that the head of the Palestinian Football Association is being probed by FIFA’s governing council in response to a complaint lodged in 2017. The investigation was reportedly launched in January of this year.

A letter, signed by Martin Ngoga, chief of investigations on FIFA’s ethics committee, alleged that Rajoub “glorified terrorism,” politicized football to further the Palestinian political agenda, and employed racist language when referring to Israelis, including comparisons to “Satan and Nazis.”

It also charged that the Palestinian official encouraged football competitions and teams to be named after convicted Palestinian terrorists. FIFA declined to confirm the news, stating that it cannot comment on potential ongoing proceedings.

If Rajoub is found guilty, it wouldn’t be the first time that he’s been found guilty by FIFA of inciting violence. In August 2018, FIFA’s disciplinary committee sanctioned Rajoub after determining that statements from him incited hatred, in violation of Article 53 of the international football organization’s disciplinary code.

Argentina was scheduled to play a friendly match against Israel in Jerusalem on June 9 prior to the World Cup. The match was later canceled after Lionel Messi was threatened, and Argentina called off the event to protect their players. Rajoub had urged fans to burn photos of Messi if he agreed to played a friendly match against Israel.

Rajoub is the head of the Central Committee of Fatah, the Palestinian political party which controls the Palestinian National Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. Rajoub is also head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee.

In 2012, he hailed the then-chief of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, for declining a minute of silence to commemorate the Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich 1972 Olympics. Rajoub charged the commemoration would have been “racism.”

[Photo: TRT World / YouTube]