FIFA wants Israel to restore VIP status restored to Palestinian football chief

Ian Deitch / The Associated Press
January 2, 2013 10:40 AM

JERUSALEM - FIFA is asking Israel to return VIP status to Palestinian football union President Jibril Rajoub, allowing him to enter Israel without security checks.

The Zurich-based global football governing body said Wednesday that it asked the Israeli football association to help secure Rajoub's "freedom of movement."

An Israeli defence official said Rajoub's status was lowered last month along with another Palestinian official, Nabil Shaath, because they had "incited to violence against Israel."

He was speaking on condition of anonymity according to protocol. He said they can travel freely in and out of Israel but now need to show credentials and can be subject to security checks.

The status change came after the U.N. endorsed a Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza.


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