The world organization that promotes and regulates soccer, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, is being asked to crack down on the promotions and glorifications of terror by the Palestinian Football Association.
Officials with the Palestinian Media Watch confirm they have filed a formal complaint to the Disciplinary Committee of FIFA to penalize the Palestinian Football Association and its president, Jibril Rajoub, for violating league rules.
“The Disciplinary Committee is requested to open proceedings against the PFA and Mr. Rajoub, and, where found necessary, implement disciplinary action without delay,” the letter said.
It alleges violations of a long list of rules of the organization.
In the letter to Gianni Infantino, chief of the FIFA, and Claudio Sulser, of the disciplinary committee, PMW explained, “The PFA and Mr. Rajoub regularly and gravely breach the FIFA statutes by promoting and glorifying terrorism; inciting hatred and violence; promoting racism; and preventing the use of the game of football in order to build a bridge for peace.”
Copies of the evidence, some in Arabic, were added to the letter.
Explained PMW, “Among the evidence is documentation that every year PFA supervises the annual ‘Prince of Martyrs Abu Jihad Football Tournament,’ named after the arch-terrorist Abu Jihad. By the Palestinian Authority’s own calculations, Abu Jihad was responsible for the murder of 125 people in numerous terror attacks he planned, which include a 1978 bus hijacking in which 25 adults and 12 children were murdered.”
The organization, which monitors, analyzes and reports on media activities the region, said its evidence shows Rajoub calling terrorists “heroes” and “a crown on the head of every Palestinian” and encouraging the kidnap and murder of Israelis.
The statements, the formal complaint states, are violating the international association rules by supporting and glorifying terrorism, “inciting hatred and violence, promoting racism” and more.
The complaint also pointed out: “Mr. Rajoub is outspoken in his promotion and glorification of terrorists and terrorism. Mr. Rajoub has honored terrorist murderers, calling them ‘sacred.'”
The evidence included his statement on PA TV on Aug. 16, 2015.
“I was at Al-Quds University on Student Day. Someone asked me: ‘Who is Laila Khaled?’ (i.e. plane hijacker). So I spoke about Laila Khaled, the fighter, the hero, the symbol, etc. … I told them: ‘There are three sacred things that should not be maligned – the fighter, the martyr, and the prisoner. They are sacred.”
He also described another terrorist, Ahmad Jabarah, aka Abu Sukkar, as “the legend who walked on earth … who with the sweat of his brow, with his faith, with his sincere belonging outlined a path for us and wrote a page (of history) that is unforgettable and indescribable … Believe me that Abu Sukkar is worthy of being named the most noble among the noble…”
The complaint also cites what the PFA and its president have not said.
Citing a long list of PFA events named after terrorists, the Palestinian Media Watch said, “The examples of sporting events dedicated to terrorists show an unquestionable pattern whereby the PFA and its president, Mr. Jibril Rajoub … actively and/or by omission, promote and glorify terrorism and terrorists.”
The complaint continued: “It should be remembered that Mr. Rajoub is himself a convicted terrorist who was sentenced to life in prison for throwing a grenade at an Israeli army truck in 1970. Mr. Rajoub served 15 hears of his sentence before he was released in a prisoner exchange. Rajoub’s behavior shows him to be unrepentant.”
Rajoub even called for the killing of Israelis, the report said, citing a 2012 TV interview when he said: “This is a popular struggle. We still believe in all forms of the struggle. No one has removed the rifle from the equation. However, for us, the struggle is a means, and the end is freedom and independence.”
But, the report explains the FIFA code bans discrimination of any kind, and also explains, “Anyone who offends the dignity of a person or group of persons through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions concerning rae, color, language, religion or origin shall be suspended.”
The complaint concludes: “As shown above, the PFA and its president, Mr. Jibril Rajoub, regularly violate FIFA’s Statutes and Disciplinary Code by using Palestinian football as a vehicle to glorify and honor terrorist murderers; by inciting hatred and violence; and by promoting racism while prohibiting the use of sports as a bridge for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. The above actions are in direct contravention of Articles 3 and 4 of the FIFA Statutes and Articles 53 and 58 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”
It continued, “The evidence shows that both the PFA and its president hold the most basic principles and documents of FIFA in contempt and trample on the intrinsic values of FIFA and the game of football.”
PMW now is waiting for FIFA to respond with a date for presentation of the evidence.