As most of you who read Football Palestine might have noticed, we rarely get into politics. But when your talking about anything that has to do with Palestine, political issues will find their way into your conversations somehow. My criticism falls on the Palestinian media led by the Football Association. They made todays match against Terek Grozny to something it isnt.
This match was the brainchild of politicians. Earlier this year Mahmoud Abaas visited the Chechen Republic and made a deal with the Chechen leader for a "match between Palestine and Chechnya" to be played in Al-Ram. As the set date got closer, we kept reading in the PFA's press releases about the upcoming match with the Chechnyan national team. It then became clear that it wasn't the Chechen national team that was coming, it was Terek Grozny, the Chechen capital's representative in the Russian top division. But still, we kept hearing about the Chechen national team and the show of solidarity between two peoples and all that. The idea was that both peoples were oppressed by Israel and Russia respectively(but of course there was no mention of that).
We were already questioning those notions when we found out that it was Terek Grozny, a professional club rather than a national team, that was coming but the Palestinian media kept exaggerating about the importance of the match and spouting all that rhetoric about solidarity.
Come matchday, and as I expected, a Russian flag is flying over the Faisal-Husseini. Of course I have no problem with that, I knew it was a Russian team we were playing and any club from any country(except Beitar Jerusalem) is welcome as far as I'm concerned. But I couldn't help but think how ridiculous that build up was. This match was our second match on home soil and it was against a club, nothing more. I do not know to what extent it was a show of solidarity between peoples. A show of solidarity between politicians is more like it and I doubt the Chechen president represents the Chechens that were brutalized by Russian bombing campaigns. I mean, last year he named an avenue in Grozny after Vladimir Putin.
The point is, the media should keep it real and quit sensationalizing. Blame falls on the PFA as well, they were the ones spurring everyone on. Just give matches the attention they deserve and nothing more. For the record I wasn't too interested in the result, I spent the day following World Cup Qualifiers. Thats a lot of matches. FIFA.com's live matchcast is great!