Palestinian football chief probed by FIFA for ‘glorifying terror’, report claims

Palestinian football chief probed by FIFA for ‘glorifying terror’, report claims

FIFA is reportedly probing football chief Jibril Rajoub for allegedly inciting violence

Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub

FIFA is probing Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub for allegedly glorifying terror and inciting violence, a report claimed.

Football’s governing body opened an investigation into the Palestinian Football Association head in January, Palestinian Media Watch said.

But FIFA declined to confirm the report, stating that it cannot comment on potential proceedings nor confirm whether ethics investigations are underway.

Palestinian Media Watch claim Rajoub is being probed by the international football organisation in response to a complaint they lodged in 2017.

FIFA notified Rajoub of the probe in a January letter signed by Martin Ngoga, chief of investigations on the ethics committee, the report claims.

The letter, seen by Jewish News but not authenticated by FIFA, reminds Rajoub of his duty to “assist and cooperate” with the probe.

It alleges Rajoub “glorified terrorism”, used football to further a political agenda, employed racist language when referring to Israelis, including comparisons to “Satan and Nazis.”

It also alleges Rajoub allowed football competitions and teams to be named after convicted terrorists and refused to use football as a bridge for peace.

If Rajoub is found guilty, he will face heavy fines and a ban on taking part in football-related activities for up to five years, Palestinian Media Watch said.

In response to the report, Palestinian Football Association Vice President Susan Shalabi accused Palestinian Media Watch of bias.

She told The Times of Israel the group “is biased, relies on information from questionable sources and they are closer to the extreme right than the mainstream in Israeli society. The proceedings are based entirely on documents provided by this organization.”

Rajoub was suspended by FIFA for a year in 2018 and handed a £15,826 fine for inciting to hatred and violence for urging fans to burn photos of Lionel Messi if he agreed to played a friendly match against the Israeli national team in Jerusalem.

Messi and his team subsequently pulled out of the game in what was widely seen as a major victory for the effort to boycott of Israel.

Rajoub is still on his year-long ban, set to expire in August.

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