Saudi soccer team makes first W. Bank trip, but locals unsure whether to rejoice
[IsraelTimes] Arab teams long avoided getting Israeli entry permits; some Paleostinians believe change is boost for local sports, while others see it as sign of unwanted thaw with Jewish state.
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
’s national soccer team arrived in the West Bank on Sunday, on a groundbreaking visit to play against the Paleostinian national team on Tuesday.
The game will be played in the West Bank town of al-Ram, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, and marks a change in policy for the Gulf state, which has previously only played against Paleostinians in third countries.
Four years ago a similar game was ultimately played in Jordan after pressure on the Saudis not to go to the Israeli-held territory.
Arab clubs and national teams have historically refused to play in the West Bank, where the Paleostinian national team plays, as it obliged them to apply for Israeli entry permits, implying normalization of relations.
But lately clubs or national teams from Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have all visited. Others, including Egypt and Leb, still refuse.
Saudi Arabia does not have official diplomatic relations with the Jewish state but the two countries are widely believed to have discreet contacts over Iran, their common enemy.
The match is the first for the Saudi team in the playoffs for the Asian zone of the 2022 World Cup.
Posted by: trailing wife 2019-10-14