Palestinian Soccer Head to Appeal FIFA's Ban for Inciting 'Hatred and Violence'
JERUSALEM, Israel – Jabril Rajoub, head of the Palestine Football Association, says he'll appeal FIFA's one-year ban for his incitement against Argentina's star soccer player, Lionel Messi.
FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), professional soccer's international governing body, imposed a one-year ban on Rajoub and a fine of about $20,300 for incitement to "hatred and violence."
In June, Rajoub called on soccer fans to burn posters of the team's star player if he came to Israel for the pre-World Cup soccer match, which was to have taken place in Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
The game was meant to serve as Argentina's final match before traveling to Russia for the World Cup finals.
Israelis were disappointed and Palestinian activists elated by the cancellation.
Argentinian Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie confirmed at the time that team members felt "totally attacked [and] violated" when pictures of their "blood-stained" (red paint) jerseys began appearing.
The 12-month ban prevents Rajoub from attending games or holding press conferences near stadiums where soccer matches are taking place.
In 1985, Israel released Rajoub in a lopsided prisoner exchange for three Israeli soldiers held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Rajoub has never hidden his support for terrorism against Israelis.