Palestinian Authority officials celebrated the cancellation of an Israel-Argentina football match as an anti-Israel, boycott victory, but a FIFA investigation confirmed it was really about Palestinian threats of terrorism.
By Israel Today Staff
At the time, it was hailed as a major victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Israel was supposed to have played a highly-anticipated friendly match against Argentina just weeks prior to the World Cup, the world’s most watched sporting event.
But at the very last minute, Argentina cancelled.
Israel’s critics insisted it was because Argentina’s star players, including the renowned Lionel Messi, had rejected the notion of playing in “apartheid” Israel, and especially the “occupied” city of Jerusalem.
However, it turns out Argentina cancelled the match because Palestinian Authority officials had incited violence against Messi and any other Argentinian player who dared to play in Israel.
According to FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, had called “on football fans to target the Argentinian Football Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi.”
Argentina took the threat of Messi or any other players being physically attacked by local Palestinians very seriously, and thus cancelled the match. Not because they were protesting Israel, but because they were afraid of Palestinian terrorism.
In punishment for his antics, Rajoub has been banned from attending any soccer matches for a full year. The punishment is unlikely to stop Rajoub from inciting hatred for and violence against Israel.
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