Photo Credit: Flash 90
Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub speaks during a press conference in the PA capital city of Ramallah, June 6, 2018

This report was filed in New York prior to the start of the holy Sabbath.

The International Football (Soccer) Association has issued a 12-month ban against the head of the Palestinian Authority Football Association, prohibiting Jibril Rajoub from attending FIFA soccer matches in an official capacity for a year, beginning Friday, August 24.

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Rajoub was sanctioned for inciting hatred and violence toward Lionel Messi, urging Arab soccer fans to burn Messi posters and shirts if he played in an Argentina game in Israel this past June. As a result, Argentina canceled its World Cup warmup match with Israel’s team.

In its ruling, the FIFA disciplinary committee cited Rajoub’s calls to football fans “to target the Argentinian Football Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi.”

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hailed the decision. “It’s high time FIFA sanctions Palestinian FA President Jibril Rajoub for incitement to violence,” spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon wrote in a post on the ministry’s official Twitter page.

“It’s high time the Palestinian leadership should understand that incitement to hatred and violence is hateful, dangerous and totally unacceptable.”

This report was filed in New York prior to the start of the holy Sabbath.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.