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

But hes used it to build what he describes as a model for other Palestinian institutions, gaining international support based not on sympathy, but success. He overhauled the association, roughly doubling the number of players registered to more than 13,000; trained 600 referees, coaches, and administrators; and builtshinynew stadiums acrossthe 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 visit here 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.
Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/asian-soccer-tournament-field-dreams-palestines-players-120004262.html

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