Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

By Gideon Allon, Ariel Kahana, and Yisrael Hayom Staff

The soccer’s world governing body rejected a demand on Wednesday presented by Palestinian Authority Football Association ‎President Jibril Rajoub to impose sanctions on and ‎‎suspend countries that “violate citizens’ ‎rights.‎”


The bid, which clearly targeted Israel, was struck down ‎by the 68th FIFA Congress by a majority vote of ‎‎82 percent to ‎‎18 percent.

The congress said similar regulations ‎‎already exist in the FIFA charter, making the ‎Palestinian Authority bid unnecessary.‎

The move backfired further when Rajoub, a virulent ‎critic of Israel who has tried to convince FIFA to ‎sanction or suspend Israel multiple times, was informed ‎that FIFA has decided to launch disciplinary ‎proceedings ‎against him over his verbal incitement ‎against Israel before the final World Cup warm-up ‎match game with Argentina.

Rajoub called on ‎fans to burn ‎shirts carrying the number of team ‎captain Lionel Messi if he played in Israel and ‎compared modern ‎Israel to Nazi Germany.‎

PA Soccer Federation Chairman Jibril Rajoub

Argentina eventually canceled the match, citing ‎threats against the players scheduled to arrive in ‎Israel. The Israeli Football ‎Association has requested that FIFA investigate the ‎reasons behind the cancellation, saying it was the ‎work of the boycott, divestment and sanctions ‎movement. ‎

‎“This is a recurring ritual in which Rajoub attempts ‎to lead FIFA decisions against our [teams] and ‎against the State of Israel,” said IFA chief Ofer Eini.‎ ‎“Thanks to proper and thoughtful work, we succeeded ‎in explaining to FIFA members what the motivating ‎factors behind these apparently innocent suggestions ‎are, and that the person suggesting them has crossed ‎every possible line.‎

‎“We have a true friend in FIFA, which is why Rajoub ‎fails time and again. Israeli soccer will ‎continue to be part of the international community, ‎and Israel will continue to enjoy support in the ‎world football association.”

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said, “There ‎is no room there [in FIFA] for terrorists, who use ‎their positions as a political tool and try to ‎delegitimize Israel. I hope that at the end of this ‎disciplinary proceeding, FIFA will send Rajoub ‎home.”‎