NEW YORK - The World Jewish Congress is deeply concerned by the Argentine Football Association’s decision to cancel its upcoming friendly match with Israel, citing threats and incitement of violence against the Argentine players and their families, WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said Wednesday.
“This is an issue that must be dealt with immediately and seriously. Politics have no place on the football field, and terror has no place in our society.
“We must also not treat this as an isolated incident. The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) frequently demonizes Israel, politicizes sports and encourages violence, under the guidance of its chairman, Jibril Rajoub, a convicted terrorist.
“The security of all players and fans must always be a top priority. In this case, it is clear that politics have played a central role. Canceling the game in Israel is a capitulation to anti-Israel extremism and a glaring example of the double standards and bias held against Israel.
“The cancellation of the Argentina-Israel friendly match sets a dangerous precedent as a win for the champions of international divisiveness, and must be accompanied by a clear condemnation of those promoting violence as well as burning the Argentinian flag.
“The World Jewish Congress denounces the Palestinian Football Association for fomenting violence against another team and its captain, and strongly invites the Argentine Football Association to join in this denunciation. FIFA must now allow such nefarious activities to continue unhindered.
“Sport is meant to bring people together regardless of politics, race, or religion. We must not let adherence of terror prevail.”