Palestinian football team’s ‘field of dreams’

19 Nov


‘Football is Resistance’


Dateline looks at the challenges facing the Palestinian football team on and off the pitch, as the players beat the odds to qualify for next year’s Asian Cup in Australia.

By Amos Roberts, Channel SBS One, Airdate: Tuesday, 18 November, 2014
Overcoming incredible obstacles, the Palestinian football team has qualified for its first top-tier international competition – in Australia.

But just touching down here (Australia) for the Asian Cup in January will be a struggle for players living under Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian Football Association still doesn’t know who it will be able to send – players and officials are often turned back at the border.

Coach, Saeb Jendeya, survived the recent war in Gaza, but his home is in ruins. He has a permit to travel to Ramallah, but risks arrest to attend training in nearby Jericho.

He tells the team, “You’re not just sportsmen, you carry a message to the world, saying ‘We have the right to a country and a better life.’”

Amos Roberts meets the footballers who are scoring some memorable goals on and off the pitch – watch the full story – click on to the video link above.

The first game for the Palestinian team in the Asian Cup, will be up against Japan in Newcastle, New South Wales, on Monday 12 January 2015.

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