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Palestine Plays At Home, At Last

  • Reuters, Monday, October 27, 2008 1 PM
FIFA President Sepp Blatter witnessed a historic game at the weekend in the Palestinian West Bank when he saw the Palestine national team play its first ever match on home soil (although it was actually turf). The game against Jordan ended 1-1 in front of a capacity 6,500-crowd in a new stadium.

"We are here to realize a dream, it is the national team of Palestine playing in its own stadium," said Blatter, who is on a Middle East tour that includes Jordan and Israel, and who also met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah. "We want to make sure that all national associations, members of FIFA have the right to play their national team matches at home." He added a standard entry from The FIFA Book Of Cliche, that the game "proved that football can bring hope."

The Palestinians had previously played all their matches abroad, mainly in the Gulf, because FIFA had deemed the Palestinian territories unsafe to host visiting teams.

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