Rajoub Blasted by Palestinians for Removing FIFA Bid

The head of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), Jibril Rajoub, has come under fire from Palestinian Arabs for dropping the motion on Friday to remove Israel from FIFA, Israel Hayom reported Sunday.

"The Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) national committee is disappointed that the entire FIFA congress, including the Palestinian Football Association, have not lived up to their obligations and stated principles. FIFA and its membership have delayed the suspension of Israel, but they cannot delay the growth of the international boycott of Israel or prevent the continued isolation of Israel," Zeid Shueidi, an official from the Palestinian BDS national committee, was quoted by the newspaper as having said.

Similar anger was sounded in Gaza, where a resident was quoted as having said, "I'm telling the [Palestinian] Authority, why did you withdraw from this decision? It needs to be followed, developed, advanced. It needs to be insisted upon.”

Hamas spokesman in Qatar Hossam Badran said that "Rajoub, who caved and folded before Israel, proved once again that the Palestinian Authority cannot be trusted, and that in Ramallah, there is no real intention behind the calls to put Israel on trial at the International Criminal Court."

Hamas, according to Israel Hayom, was also critical of Rajoub's handshake with Israel Football Association President Ofer Eini.

"Rajoub shared secrets with the Israel Football Association president and shook his hand, proving that Rajoub's actions, in the name of the Palestinian Authority, are a giant charade,” said one Hamas spokesman.

"The Palestinian Authority has no plans to end the security and economic coordination with Israel, and it has been proven beyond any doubt that their claims to the contrary are false and empty," he added.

Rajoub had campaigned to have Israel suspended from FIFA because, he claimed, Israel was restricting the movement of Palestinian Arab players. On Friday, he removed his bid from the agenda of the FIFA congress at the last moment after last minute efforts by Israel.

Cartoons mocking Rajoub filled social media over the weekend, calling him a traitor and saying that he had sold the Palestinians out in exchange for VIP status, according to Israel Hayom.

Rajoub rejected the criticism leveled at him, saying "the decision was an achievement for the Palestinians. People can say what they will. I don't care and I'm not concerned."

In fact, the PFA chief made clear on Saturday that he intends to try to have Israel suspended again in the future.

"I hope that the Israelis understand that the suspension has not been removed from the agenda of FIFA but the sanctions were postponed until the committee that was established completes its work,” Rajoub told Kol Yisrael radio.

"Soccer players and fans in Israel should pressure their racist government. We will assess the situation and see if Israel changed its tune and if not – we will move forward," he threatened.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it expects Rajoub to try next to oust Israel from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Officials told Army Radio that the Foreign Ministry has already delved into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) bylaws ahead of the potential threat.

Israel is unlikely to be banned from the event, officials noted, as the IOC's rules are far more complex than FIFA's due to its unique regulations.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196094

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