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Fifa to discipline Palestinian Football Assocation head Jibril Rajoub over Israel's cancelled Argentina friendly

Jibril Rajoub called on fans to burn shirts with Lionel Messi's name on it

    Jibril Rajoub in 2007
    Jibril Rajoub in 2007

    Fifa will launch disciplinary proceedings against the head of the Palestinian Football Association, after he put pressure on Argentina to cancel a pre-World Cup friendly match against Israel in Jerusalem, the Israel Football Association has said.

    The game was cancelled last week, following massive pressure, which included attacking Argentina’s star player Lionel Messi.

    PFA boss Jibril Rajoub called on fans worldwide to burn shirts with Mr Messi's name on it.

    He also threatened to derail Argentina's bid to host the 2030 World Cup finals.

    Lionel Messi during a friendly match against Haiti last month
    Lionel Messi during a friendly match against Haiti last month (Photo: Getty Images)

    On Wednesday, Fifa’s World Congress rejected a proposal from Mr Rajoub to amend its constitution with a tougher position against “human rights abuses,” with a focus on those alleged to have been perpetrated by Israel.

    The motion was rejected by Fifa by a vote of 156 to 35.

    The Israel Football Association has filed a complaint against Mr Rajoub and the PFA.

    On Wednesday, IFA head Oferi Eini said: “The ritual repeats itself every time that Rajoub tries to lead to resolutions at Fifa against our soccer team and against the State of Israel.

    “Thanks to proper and sharp work we are succeeding in explaining to Fifa members what truly hides behind the seemingly innocent proposals of someone who has crossed every red line.

     “We have true friends at the Union of European Football Associations and the other confederations at Fifa, and therefore Rajoub fails time after time.

    “Israeli soccer will continue to be part of the international community, and the State of Israel will continue to enjoy great sympathy at the world football association.”

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