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Asian Soccer Tournament Is Field Of Dreams For Palestine's Players - Yahoo News

He overhauled the association, roughly doubling the number visit the website of players registered to more than 13,000; trained 600 referees, coaches, and administrators; and builtshinynew stadiums acrossthe more.. West Bank and his owngleaming headquarters.A framed photo showsSeppBlatter, the president of FIFA , soccer's international governing body, accepting a Palestinian VIP passport with a huge smile. Many describe the team as the Palestinian nations most muscular ambassadors, providing a welcome break from the image of Palestinians as heartless militants. We have a love, we have a heart, we are not a hateful people, says Husam al-Husseini of the PFAs international affairs department. SHOWING UP IS HALF THE BATTLE But even with supportfrom FIFA, its complicatedto field a national team when you dont control customs, borders, or an airport. Every time Palestinian players travel abroad to a match, their exit and reentry is dependent on Israeli approval.Of the 23-man squad traveling to Australia, all but six live in the Palestinian territories. In 2007, the Palestinian team was forced to forfeit a World Cup qualifier match when Israel prevented their travel to Singapore. Abu Jazar has only been back tohis city of Khan Younis in Gaza three times since 2009 for fear of not being able to return to his West Bank club,which pays a salary thatallows him to support his large family back home. Gaza was once teeming with talented players like Abu Jazar.Then camethe 2007 Hamas takeover that cut off the territory from the West Bank, which is ruled by Fatah , the dominant Palestinian party, and led to harsher Israeli restrictions on Gaza. "Before the [Hamas-Fatah rift], sport http://vazquezjppj.kazeo.com/jessie-magdaleno-you-will-see-a-lot-of-power-on-saturday-night- in Gaza was high and quality was fantastic," says Abu Jazar.
Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/asian-soccer-tournament-field-dreams-palestines-players-120004262.html

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