Readers may recall that last August BBC Sport published a report concerning FIFA’s decision to issue a 12-month suspension and a fine to the head of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, for “inciting hatred and violence” against the Argentinian player Lionel Messi.
Over 35% of that report was given over to the unquestioned amplification of some decidedly bizarre comments from the PFA concerning its president’s suspension which closed with the words:
“The Palestinian FA says it will now “pursue this issue to the last possible legal venue”.”
Last week that “last possible legal venue” – the Court of Arbitration for Sport – announced its decision.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Jibril Rajoub, President of the Palestine Football Association (PFA) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The appeal has been dismissed and the decision issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee (FIFA AC) dated 24 September 2018, confirming the earlier decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (FIFA DC) dated 13 July 2018, is confirmed. Consequently, the one-year match suspension (until 23 August 2019) and the fine of CHF 20,000 imposed on Jibril Rajoub have been confirmed.”
However, the Times of Israel reports that an additional investigation by FIFA is underway.
“FIFA is currently conducting an investigation against Rajoub on suspicion that he breached its bylaws by glorifying terrorism and inciting hatred and violence… […]
The letter by FIFA’s chief of investigation in the Ethics Committee, Martin Ngoga, cited many alleged examples of Rajoub’s “promotion and glorification of terrorism,” “incitement to hatred and violence,” “discriminatory/denigratory statements and prohibiting the use of [soccer] as a bridge to peace” and the “use of [soccer] to promote a political agenda.””
As regular readers will be aware, the BBC has a record of providing no small amount of amplification to Rajoub’s football related political campaigns.
Perhaps that explains why audiences have seen no reporting on the rejection of Rajoub’s appeals against FIFA or about its current investigation into his conduct.