Aussies deny Palestine FA president Jibril Rajoub entry for final WC2026 group qualifier

June 11 – Palestine Football Association’s (PFA) president Jibril Rajoub has been denied entry to Australia ahead of the Palestinian team’s final group stage game against Australia.

Rajoub (pictured) was denied an entry visa to Australia by the Australian Department of Home Affairs for unexplained “technicality in his application” reasons.

Reports are that the refusal of entry was not based on character grounds, but whatever it is based on it is not a good look for Australia or its attempts to woo the world’s major sports events, including football.

Australia recently co-hosted the 2023 World Cup and will host the 2027 Women’s Asian Cup. It is also rumoured to be manoeuvring to host the expanded Club World Cup.

Rajoub was scheduled to travel to Australia from Qatar where the Palestinian team and delegation have been based while the war in Gaza has been on-going and basic football operations and infrastructure have become impossible in the face of Israeli aggression in the West Bank.

Although finishing second behind Australia in the World Cup second round group stage, Palestine have qualified for the first time for the third round group stage and a direct shot at one of the nine AFC slots at the 2026 World Cup.

Rajoub and the Palestine FA held centre stage at the FIFA Congress last month with a motion to suspend Israel for violations against Palestinians in Gaza, specifically targeting Palestinian footballers and football infrastructure.

FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino refused to allow the Congress to vote on the motion, saying that the decision was within the “competence” of the FIFA Council to decide and that FIFA will seek ‘independent’ legal advice by July 25 in advance of an extraordinary FIFA Council that will decide on the Palestinian proposal.

“Football Australia welcomes the Palestinian men’s national team for Tuesday’s FIFA World Cup Asian qualification match at HBF Park,” a Football Australia spokesperson said.

“In line with our responsibilities as the host member association, we provide visa support to all visiting football delegations and will continue to work with the Australian Government to facilitate the arrival of football stakeholders.”

In Australia is appears that some stakeholders aren’t stakeholders.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1719301124labto1719301124ofdlr1719301124owedi1719301124sni@n1719301124osloh1719301124cin.l1719301124uap1719301124

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