The chief of the Palestinian Football Association has been placed under investigation by the international soccer association FIFA for allegedly 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.”
Confirmation of the investigation comes from the experts at Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors, interprets and analyzes media reporting in the Middle East.
Officials there also document evidence and turn it in, as in the case involving Jibril Rajoub, they explained in a new report this week.
The organization had submitted evidence to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee several years ago, and it was just in January that a letter came from FIFA’s chief of investigation in the ethics committee, Martin Nagoga, to Rajoub.
The letter states that Rajoub needs to respond individually to each of the points, PMW reported.
The letter, which has become public through being leaked, explains, “To the extent that you dispute any part of the… complaint and allegations, you are hereby requested to submit a statement identifying every point in the complaint allegations that you dispute; an explanation of why you dispute each such point; a description of any and all additional facts you contend, clarify, contradict, or are otherwise relevant to the issue or point in dispute; and all documents, records, or data within your possession, custody, or control that support your position,” according to PMW.
Nagoga found “prima facie evidence” based on PMW’s “Kick Terror Out of Football” complaint that “you may have committed violations of the FCE [FIFA Ethics Code] in your position as President of the Palestinian Football Association.”
The letter has Nagoga charging that Rajoub was accused of “personally” promoting and glorifying terrorism.
“This includes several soccer events that had PFA backing or organized by Rajoub that [bore] the name of terrorists, as well as several soccer teams that were named after terrorists and terrorist organizations that had killed Israeli citizens,” PMW reported.
“The letter also said that Rajoub is being accused of making statements in which he encouraged Hamas to kidnap soldiers.”
PMW director Itamar Marcus said he welcomed the league’s decision to open its investigation.
“It is demeaning for FIFA to allow a terrorist supporter who uses vile racist language to have any position attached to FIFA’s good name,” Marcus continued. “Instead of using the beautiful game to build bridges and promote peace and coexistence, Rajoub uses his position to incite violence and to promote and glorify terrorism.
“I am hopeful that FIFA will now, once and for all, permanently remove Rajoub from any position in FIFA, and cleanse this stain on international football.”
Back in 2017, the PMW had submitted its complaint, explaining PFA and Rajoub “regularly violate FIFA’s Statutes and Disciplinary Code by using Palestinian football as a vehicle to glorify and honor terrorist murderers; inciting hatred and violence; promoting racism; and prohibiting the use of sports as a bridge for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
The letter explained the actions apparently violated the FIFA Statutes as well as its Disciplinary Code.
It pointed out how Rajoub claims terrorists are “sacred,” including those who planned and carried out a 1975 bombing in Jerusalem that killed 15.
Even earlier, there had been problems, PMW noted.
On “official Palestinian Authority TV on October 17, 2015, Rajoub, ‘referring directly to the terrorists said, ‘These are individual acts of bravery, and I am proud of them. I congratulate everyone who carried them out. I say to you, we are proud of you.””