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Palestinian football chief to appeal ‘unfair’ FIFA ban

Image of senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]
Palestinian Football Association (PFA) President Jibril Rajoub [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

Palestinian Football Association (PFA) President Jibril Rajoub will appeal a 12-month ban handed down by FIFA after he called on fans to burn shirts and pictures of Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi during a friendly with Israel.

Rajoub’s participation in a campaign to prevent Argentina from playing Israel in a friendly before the launch of the World Cup “incited hatred and violence” FIFA said.

“We will go to the appeals court and to the FIFA sport court of appeals and to Swiss and European courts after we have exhausted the legal FIFA system,” Rajoub said at a press conference in Ramallah today. Adding, the FIFA decision was “unfair” and “politically motivated”.

Israel moved the match from Haifa to Jerusalem, infuriating Palestinians and rights activists the world over. But the Argentinian team cancelled the friendly days before to was to be held, claiming threats of violence were targeted at their star player Messi.

“We will continue efforts to fight injustice against the association,” said Rajoub. “Israel continues to limit our movement and ability to play within the West Bank and Gaza, welcome trainers and experts – Iraq’s team visit and Gaza athletes are recent examples.”

Rajoub was banned from all football-related activity for a year by FIFA on 24 August.

Palestinian FA head banned after call to burn Messi shirts

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FIFAInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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