World Bulletin / News Desk
The victorious Palestine football team has returned home after winning the Assia Challenge Cup, their first triumph in an international competition.
The players were greeted by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas in a ceremony in Ramallah, the West Bank, on Sunday.
“It is time for our people to celebrate this great victory you brought. You have raised our heads high, I wish you all success and progress,” Abbas said, the Wafa news agency reported.
Palestine defeated the Philippines 1-0 on Friday, allowing them to enter the AFC Asia Cup next year in Australia.
The Palestinian Football Federation was founded in 1928. However, a team for a future Arab state to be called Palestine was first recognized by FIFA in 1998, after the creation of the Palestinian National Authority.
The Palestinian Authority is not officially recognized by the international community, but a recent stalemate in Palestinian-Israeli talks has led Mahmoud Abbas to apply to UN bodies for recognition, having already been recognized by UNESCO.
Participation in international sporting events in Palestine therefore goes way beyond being just a game, as it is also a source of confidence for Palestinians hoping to put their name on the world map.Last Mod: 03 Haziran 2014, 14:14