FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Palestinian soccer chief
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FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Palestinian soccer chief

International soccer body also overwhelmingly rejects proposal by Jibril Rajoub to take stronger stance against human rights abuses

Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, speaks during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 6, 2018. (Abbas Momani/AFP)
Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, speaks during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 6, 2018. (Abbas Momani/AFP)

The international soccer body FIFA has decided to begin disciplinary proceedings against Palestinian Football Association head Jibril Rajoub for alleged incitement ahead of a canceled friendly match between Argentina and Israel, which was to have been held in Jerusalem earlier this month, the Israel Football Association announced Wednesday.

The IFA last week filed a complaint against Rajoub and the Palestinian Football Association over Rajoub’s conduct ahead of the match, which included calls for posters and jerseys of star Lionel Messi to be burned, as well as a threat to thwart Argentina’s bid to host the World Cup in 2030.

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.

Palestinian soccer federation president Rajoub had said FIFA lacked any ability to sanction a nation for human rights abuses.

FIFA advised voters it had already fulfilled all commitments to human rights in reforms passed over the past three years.

“The ritual repeats itself every time, when Rajoub tries to lead decisions at FIFA against our soccer and the State of Israel,” IFA head Ofer Eini said in a statement. “Thanks to correct and intelligent work we are succeeding to explain to our friends in FIFA what truly hides behind the supposedly innocent proposals of someone who has crossed every red line.

“Israeli soccer will continue to be part out the international community and the State of Israel will continue to enjoy great sympathy at the world football association,” Eini added.

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