The head of the Palestinian Football Association says he will contest a year-long ban from the sport imposed by world soccer governing body FIFA for calling on fans to burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi.
Jibril Rajoub said this on Monday at a news conference in Ramallah.
“We will go to the appeals court and to the FIFA sport court of appeals and to Swiss and European courts after we have exhausted the legal FIFA system,” Rajoub said.
The decision was “unfair’’ and “politically motivated,’’ he claimed.
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FIFA’s disciplinary committee in August found Rajoub guilty of “inciting hatred and violence” for calling on fans to target the Argentinian Football Association and its national team captain Messi, ahead of a pre-World Cup friendly match against Israel scheduled for June 9.
The match was later cancelled.
Jibril Rajoub, who is also president of the National Olympic Committee of Palestine, cannot attend matches or competitions in any official capacity during his ban and was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs (20,300 dollars).
However, Rajoub can remain president of the Palestinian association and attend FIFA meetings.