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June 3, 2015 1:32 pm

Palestinian Football Association Chairman Threatens to Prevent Israel’s Participation in the Olympics

avatar by David Daoud

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Palestinian soccer official Jibril Rajoub waives a symbolic red penalty card at Israel during the 65th FIFA Congress. Photo: YouTube.

Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub waives a symbolic red penalty card at Israel during the 65th FIFA Congress. Photo: YouTube.

The chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub warned on Monday that his group may in the future seek to prevent Israel’s participation in the Olympics.

“If Israel does not change its behavior and continues to act in a racist manner against the Palestinians, putting forward an initiative against Israel’s participation in the Olympics is entirely possible,” Rajoub said.

The comments were made to Israeli news website NRG on the sidelines of a welcoming ceremony in Jericho, upon his return from the FIFA congress in Switzerland.

At the ceremony, Rajoub spoke about advancing sport as a bridge between Israelis and Palestinians.

He expressed satisfaction with the outcome of events last Friday at the FIFA congress, where the Palestinian delegation headed by Rajoub informed FIFA at the last possible moment that it was withdrawing its request to have Israel suspended from the international football body.

The move was preceded by an intense day of negotiations between former president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, who resigned on Monday, Israeli Football Association Chairman Ofer Eini, and Rajoub.

Rajoub said he considers the course of actions in Zurich as a triumph, not only for the Palestinian people, but also for Israeli athletes and FIFA.

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