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Palestine’s PFLP denounces hosting Saudi team in West Bank

October 8, 2019 at 12:41 am

Footballers seen during the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 on June 14, 2018 [@QatarAirways / Twitter]

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has condemned the football match, scheduled for the 15th of this month, between the Saudi and Palestinian teams in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, considering that as “normalisation with Israel via sports”.

In a statement posted on its official website on Monday, the PFLP called on the Palestinian and Arab masses to express their public rejection of the match that comes within the double qualifying of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup.

The statement described the planned match as “marketing for Saudi policies in the region, and opening the door for the normalisation with the Zionist entity.”

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The Saudi federation said in a statement, posted on Twitter on Friday that it approved the move “in response to the request of the brothers in the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), according to The New Khalij.

On his part, head of PFA, Jibril Rajoub, said that hosting the Saudi team in Jerusalem is a historical event under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Arab football federations often refuse to play in the occupied West Bank because entry requires an Israeli visa, a move usually pursued by accusations of normalisation, while Riyadh and Tel Aviv do not have diplomatic ties.