Palestinian football chief vows to fight FIFA ban over Messi comments
Palestine's football chief said he will appeal against a year-long ban by FIFA, after he called on Palestinian football fans to burn their Argentina shirts after star Lionel Messi planned to visit Israel.
Jibril Rajoub told AP that he would hold a press conference on his return back to Ramallah from China to reveal more details of his plans to fight the FIFA ban.
He described the action by the global football body as "absurd" and biased, promising to "use every possible opportunity" to block the move by FIFA.
Rajoub was accused of "inciting hatred and violence", after he called on Palestinians to burn their Messi shirts and photos of the Barcelona star, when Argentina planned to play a game in the disputed capital of Jerusalem.
Argentina eventually cancelled the game in June, shortly before the country's World Cup campaign.
FIFA gave Rajoub the minimum ban for inciting hatred, which prevents Rajoub from attending matches or engaging with the media at or near stadiums on match days for a year.
He was also slapped with a $20,300 fine.
Lawyers of Rajoub and the Palestinian Football Association have been working on his case, saying that the ban was disproportionate to the offence.
Rajoub has campaigned for the rights of Palestinian players who have restricted movement in the occupied territories due to Israel's military.