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PA daily op-ed accusing FIFA of pro-Israel bias refers to PMW report against Fatah official Rajoub

Excerpt of op-ed by Issam Khaledi

Headline: "Will FIFA led by Infantino publicly state its absolute collusion with Israel?"

"The international football association (FIFA) recently committed during a conference under US auspices that was held in Bahrain (i.e., refers to conference in June 2019 focusing on economic aspects of US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan) to build more football fields in the Palestinian 'territories'…
FIFA President [Gianni Infantino] noted that in the Palestinian territories – made up of the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip – there have been only 25 football fields until now, while there are a total of 5 million residents in them. Infantino said: 'Let us, FIFA, do something tangible [and concrete] that people can see, and when kids play football, they not only smile, but also they don't do other things. Therefore, yes, football can play a small but important role.' Since Palestine joined FIFA, the Palestinian people have not expected only financial and organizational support from FIFA, but also moral support.
[Fatah Central Committee Secretary and] Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub attempted to convince Infantino not to participate in this conference…
It is clear that most of the decisions made recently by FIFA against the Palestinian Football Association, in addition to its position that is biased in favor of Israel are the best proof that this mechanism [FIFA]… is subject to the will of the Israeli lobby. In other words, FIFA is abandoning its principles, which are anchored in its regulations, in order to please Israel. It is sacrificing its values and the purity of its characteristics for political gain. FIFA, as an international body, is refusing to implement the UN positions in the matter of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank…
It can be easily understood that Infantino's greatest current concern is to maintain his role as president of FIFA. Therefore, he must close all windows from which a strong wind could enter (such as criticism or imposing sanctions on the Israel Football Association) [parentheses in source]…
Of course Infantino is not a coward, but his greatest problem is fear. It appears that he believes that 'FIFA does not need trouble or any confrontations with Israel.' He believes that one of the conditions for FIFA’s continued existence is to heed Israel, and that 'ethical' and significant concessions must be made. These concessions have been expressed by FIFA's refusal to impose any sanctions on the Israel Football Association… not to mention the submission to the claim made in a report of the unreliable Israeli [organization] Palestinian Media Watch, which accuses Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Rajoub of 'incitement and terror glorification,' or of the 'non-condemnation' of terror, so to speak. FIFA did not respond to the e-mail sent by Electronic Intifada, in which it was asked why it takes the claims of this organization seriously, and why FIFA apparently required two years to open an investigation."

Jibril Rajoub also holds the positions of Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).

On June 6, 2019, the Electronic Intifada website published an article about FIFA's sanctions against Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub, in which it noted it had sent an e-mail to FIFA, to which it received no response. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/fifa-attacks-palestinian-football

 

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