The Palestinian Football Association’s Jibril Rajoub announced during FIFA’s congress in Zurich on Friday that he was cancelling a vote on his proposal to have Israel expelled from the international soccer organisation.
Rajoub said that protecting Palestinian players involved three main issues: freedom of movement, racism, and Israeli teams playing in territory beyond the Green Line. He called for a United Nations discussion on suspending these teams.
“I decided to drop the suspension, but it does not mean that I give up the resistance,” Rajoub told the Congress.
In June 2012, as head of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Rajoub labelled as “racist” a request for a minute of silence to remember the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics by Palestinian militants in 1972.
Rajoub told Hezbollah-affiliated television network Al-Mayadeen “until now we have not had nuclear weapons,” he declared, “but in the name of Allah, if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them.”
Ironic? Not if you live in our topsy-turvy world. Rajoub negates to say that ‘these teams’ are just a bunch of kids kicking a ball about. Still, it still leaves the question as to the real reason he dropped his proposal. Apparently, rumours abound that it was in return for Palestine being awarded the 2026 World Cup, thanks to Qatari cash in brown envelopes. I imagine that the atmosphere would be quite explosive, especially in Gaza, where the only stadium is stocked with rockets. It should go down a bomb.