Wiesenthal Center Lauds FIFA Disciplinary Committee`s Ruling to Fine and Suspend Palestinian Football Association For Incitement to Hate and Violence

August 24, 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Center lauded the ruling by the Disciplinary Committee of FIFA (International Federation of Football Association) to fine and suspend for 12 months Jibril Rajoub, President of the Palestinian Football Federation (PFA). Those penalties were imposed for incitement to hatred and violence under the terms of FIFA disciplinary code.    

On 9 June, Argentina was scheduled to play a friendly match with Israel in Jerusalem. The PFA generated an atmosphere to intimidate the Argentine team by publicly incinerating T-shirts and photos of football star and lead player Lionel Messi, to the point that the match was cancelled on grounds of security threats.

Shimon Samuels, the Center´s Director for International Relations recalled “the many protests to FIFA regarding Rajoub´s naming of teams, tournaments and stadiums for terrorists to glorify mass murder and the PFA`s constant campaigns to expel from FIFA the Israel Football Association”, adding, “Rajoub`s own terrorist background tamishes the `beautiful game` and requires his permanent `expulsion`, rather than `suspension` from FIFA”.

Dr. Ariel Gelblung, the Center´s Latin American Representative noted: “the 11-Point Program against Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination on Sports of the Wiesenthal Center, sponsored by the Organization of American States, the PARLATINO (Latin American Parliament) and the Buenos Aires City Municipal Council. In this spirit, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee took measures against those who use sport for a channel of hate instead of a bridge for peace that were rapid, effective but not yet final.”

For further information, please contact Dr.Shimon Samuels at +336 09770158 or Dr.Ariel Gelblung at +54 9 11 49695365.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).


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