Thursday, April 30, 2009

Women's WCQ: Uzbekistan defeats Palestine


Palestine fell hard against Uzbekistan suffering a heavy 0-5 defeat in the third matchday of this AFC Womens Asian/World Cup Qualifier group in Kuala Lumpur. Palestine are all but eliminated from the group being currently in 4th position having played one more game than the top three teams in the group(top three qualify to next round).
On paper, there is some hope as a couple of scenarios will see the team through. I only chose those two because the others are impossible due to the fantastical goal differences.

1) Palestine, in their last match of the group on Saturday, win against Jordan; Kyrgyzstan loses or draws BOTH of their remaining two matches

2) Palestine defeat Jordan by a sizable margin ; Kyrgyzstan wins against the Maldives and loses heavily to Uzbekistan

I will not hold my breath for this one. To defeat Jordan will go against statistical principles. Either way, heres hoping the Ladies pull through and Kyrgyzstan has an epic slip up.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

17 Players called up to face FC Brussels




Goalkeepers: Mohammed Eshbair (Shabab Al-Amari, Palestine), Abdallah Al-Saidawi (Hilal Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Palestine)

Defenders: Roberto Bishara (CD Palestino, Chile), Murad Ismail, Nadim Barghouthi (Al-Birah, Palestine), Mohammed Abdel-Jawad (Al-Birah, Palestine), Abdelatif Bahdari (Hilal Areeha (Jericho), Palestine), Ammar Abuseleisel (Jabal Al-Mokaber, Palestine), Majed Abusidu (Al-Salmiya, Kuwait)

Midfielders: Ismail Al-Amour (Dhariah, Palestine), Ma'ly Kawareh (Al-Am'ary, Palestine), Ahmad Alan (Jabal Al-Mokaber, Palestine), Ahmed Keshkesh (Al-Am'ary, Palestine)

Forwards: Fadi Lafi (Shabab Al-Ordon, Jordan), Fahed Attal (Al-Jazira, Jordan), Said Al-Sobakhi (Wadi Al-Nes, Palestine)

The team will be coached by Izzat Hamzeh, this will be his last game in charge he is in talks to join the Showtime network as a commentator for their English Premier League broadcasts. The team will depart for Belgium on the 3rd of May.

Here is hoping that win or lose, the team puts forth a good performance and that a couple of our players will be granted trials/contracts with teams in Europe.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ladies suffer 4-1 setback at the hands of Kyrgyzstan

The second game of World Cup and Asian Cup qualifying ended with a reverse to a country that is fast becoming our bogey team. The lady fursan (I recognize that that is still masculine... someone please come up with a nickname for this team) fell 4-1, no words on who got the goal for Palestine. Reports say the team didn't play as well as they should of and put forth quite a sloppy performance. Inconsistency is to be expected from a team composed mainly of teenagers, Honey Thalijeh at 23 captains the squad and is one of the oldest players. A win against either Uzbekistan or Jordan will be enough to send the team through to the second round of qualifying where they will be one step away from the Asian Cup Finals

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Women's WCQ: Palestine thumps Maldives 4-0


In their opening World Cup Qualifying Match the lady fursan thumped Maldives 4-0. The goals came from Walaa Husayn (2), Hamma Joubran, and Claduia Salameh. Both teams were participating in their first World Cup Qualifying campaign so this is great result for our ladies side. In the other match Jordan destroyed Kyrgyzstan 7-1, the top three teams in this group will qualify for the second stage. Should they top their three team group they will join DPR Korea, Korea Republic, China, Japan, and Australia at the 2010 Asian Cup which will be used as a qualification tournament for the 2011 World Cup Finals in Germany. The withdrawal of Uzbekistan from the competition combined with the win against Maldives means that the team now has one foot in the next round provided they avert heavy losses to Jordan and Kyrgyzstan.

Unsubstantiated reports: Iraq-Palestine Friendly

There have been some rumblings about a Palestine-Iraq friendly slated for an April date (I guess that means sometime this week) but I have yet to come across an article confirming this report. Apparently, this match will be helped in Baghdad and will serve as one of Iraq's warm-up matches ahead of the Confederations' Cup and as a symbolic gesture since it will be the first international played on home soil in over six years. We have been burned in the past with unsubstantiated reports and poor journalism (off topic: Izzat Hamzeh is still the coach until further notice) and we try not to publish speculation but this report seems plausible so we'll report back once we have more information.

The Majed Abusidu Transfer Saga Continues




Majed Abusidu is seeking a way out of his current contract with Al-Salmiya. He had origiannly unilaterally ended his contract with the club to joing Al-Tadamon but that move was rejected by the head of the Kuwaiti FA so he returned to Al-Salmiya where the already frosty relationship got even colder. Now Al-Qabas is reporting that Majed Abusidu (aka Majed Mustafa) might be headed to Kathima who finished 3rd in the Kuwaiti Premier League, 3 points ahead of Al-Salmiya.

Got my Jersey

Hey everyone,
We haven't been posting much lately because, well, theres not much to talk about! Nothing like a good qualification disappointment to kill one's interest in football, right?

A couple of weeks ago I ordered the 2003 Palestine Jersey(see: Palestine Kit History) from Subside Sports - where its marketed as the "08-09" jersey which is blatantly false.
It took a bit of a toll on my college student-bank account what with the base price of 55 Pounds plus custom duties. That said, I was not disappointed in the least bit when it arrived today. This is the only Palestine jersey available on the mass market, and it always has been a favorite of mine due to its association with the Nicola Shahwan era. I'm pretty busy nowadays so these pictures will have to do for now, they can be enlarged by clicking:


Sunday, April 12, 2009

News Roundup:



Check out Howard Schneider's piece on Wadi Al-Nes and the West Bank Premier League.

Also be sure to check out Iqbal Tamimi's article on first women's football team in Gaza.

You can read about the struggles of our comrades, on the other side of the green line, Bnei Sakhnin here.

And finally... Ahmad Keshkesh's loan with Shabab Al-Ordon is up and he is on his way back to Shabab Al-Amary.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Palestine to play FC Brussels


The Palestinian National team will face off against FC Brussels on the 6th of May in a match commemorating UNRWA's 60th anniversary. The match will be held in Brussels and should present an opportunity for some of our players to get on the radar of some European scouts and secure trials. No news yet on official friendlies... we will keep you posted.

Palestine Kit History

The other day, Subside Sports sent me an email, advertising their deals on jerseys to my surprise they are trying to pass off our 2002/03 Jersey that was made by Training as our 2008/09 jersey. So in order to clear things up I have decided to write a post about our kit history. Also, I would like to issue an appeal to all kit manufacturers everywhere: Please give the PFA a 5 year contract. We'd be happy with the following suppliers: Adidas, Nike, Puma, Lotto, Diadora, Le Coq Sportif, Hummel, Umbro, Uhlsport. We'd also accept: Training, Joma, and anybody else not listed but we'd be less excited about it. Know This: If you give us the opportunity to buy these jerseys we promise you that you will make a profit. But please, do not make us play in red. We play in a nice dark green, with black, red, and white trim.

Early Years 1998/00

Home


Away

Sponsor: Diadora

A classic '90s kit, belonging to a fledgling team. We wore these in the first competitive matches we ever played in 1998 and later on in 1999 during the Pan-Arab Games in Jordan (where Palestine went on to receive the bronze medal. The pattern is established, Green Home White Away with black and red trim on both... intense AND original.

First Qualifying Campaign: 2000/02

Home


Away

Sponsor: Diadora

Diadora continues with the same theme, although the home is quite plain (the shade of green is also off), the away is quite nice. Unfortunately, for the first four years of out existence we thought it necessary to put "Palestine" on the jersey just so our opponents could remember who they were playing.

Chilean Style: 2002/03

Sponsor: Training

This jersey was secured thanks to our Chilean connections, it is the same design of a CD Palestino Jersey that was produced in the same year but with the PFA logo instead of the Palestino logo. An original, unorthodox design that incorporated the Palestinian flag. This was also the first jersey that featured that horrible, oversized, monstrosity of a logo. At least we don't have to deal with that anymore. This is the only Palestine Jersey that was widely marketed and available online. Training did not provide the team with away jerseys.

2006 World Cup Qualifying

Home


Away

Sponsor: Le Coq Sportif

This is by far the best jersey the National team ever wore and it continues with our tradition: Green Home, White Away. Simple, plain, yet elegant... accented with bold black, red, and white. Unfortunately, I have tried and failed to locate this jersey, I'd be ready to put up a king's ransom for it.

The Flag Jersey (take 2): 2004/07

Home


Away

Sponsor: ?

The Home jersey is quite nice, it is an improvement upon Training's efforts in 2003. This jersey would have been a masterpiece if the flag was horizontal, ala nike's jerseys for Euro 2008. The red triangle in the flag looks a little bit like a bandana, despite that, this is definitely one of our better jerseys. The away is a monstrosity, a complete lack of imagination and design it doesn't even deserve a picture to highlight it... instead you can take a look at Ziyad Al-Kord's bicycle kick versus Uzbekistan.

2007: Palestino loaners

Home:


Away:

Sponsor: Training

The Home jersey was only worn twice in the 2007 WAFF Championships, the away jersey was supposed to be worn in the World Cup Qualifier against Singapore, but the shipment was lost. Both good jerseys, but I think Green should always be the home color, this was the start of the deviation.

2008: Rouge? Mais... Puorquoi?

Home:


Away:

Sponsor: ?

Not ugly Jerseys... but they don't retain our true character. We don't wear red... especially not as a home kit. Too many teams do it, heck all our neighbors do it (Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria). We wear green. GREEN. Our away jersey makes us look like Iran, not the best effort. At least we got a shnazzy new PFA logo with an olive tree and a keffiyeh incorporated into it.

2008: Homecoming


Sponsor: Diadora

This would be the perfect away jersey, for some reason we wore it against Jordan at home. I guess we should be relieved we didn't wear red, that would have been a true disaster. But I like what Diadora has done here we are sporting white and green without looking like Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, or Ireland. I don't even mind the large crest.

2009-Present

Home:


Away:

Sponsor: ?

A disappointing follow-up. These jerseys leave a lot to be desired, we should never wear red... never.... EVER. We have never won in red. The two times we did wear it we were torn apart by Iran's B side and knocked out by Kyrgyzstan. Conversely, our two largest wins vs. Guam and Chinese Taipei came while we were in green. The away jersey is also a let down... the green is way too light, and the numbering is absolutely horrendous.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Support in the Diaspora - Few and Far Between

In my highschool days in Saudi Arabia, whenever I mentioned the national team to other diaspora Palestinian friends, the majority would respond, "whats the point? they're just going to lose anyways". All in all I just had a couple of buddies who I would get together with occasionally to watch matches, but even then, I would watch them on my own mostly as the vast majority of Palestinians around me had little to no interest in the national team. They were too starstruck by the glamour of European football to pay attention to Asian Cup qualifiers. Heck, even local Saudi football was more interesting to some.
This explains why the national team played in virtually empty stadiums when hosting 'home' matches in neighboring countries. Even in neighboring Jordan where an estimated 70% of the population is of Palestinian descent, the Qweisma stadium in the suburbs of Amman wouldn't attract more than a few hundred supporters. Many of them Wehdat fans from the refugee camps. An example of the grim empty stands:

As I recall, the turnout of Palestinian supporters in the 2002 Pan Arab Cup was the best out of all matches away from home. There was a sizable amount of fans cheering on Nicola Shahwan and his squad and a commentator noted with amusement the picnic atmosphere that was enjoyed by families who had come(as shown by the TV cameras).
That was an exception rather than a rule. Sitting in your living room watching the National Team play in empty 25,000 seater stadiums made you feel somewhat alone in your support.
The internet changed that for me after I discovered kooora-Palestine. I finally had a place to voice my opinions with other people who gave a damn and read what others thought. The vast majority of the members of kooora-Palestine reside in the Palestinian territories according to the locations they indicate, and if we should take this as a sample, then we can conclude(as expected) that the national team enjoys most of its support in Palestine.
Palestinians abroad, however, have made significant contributions to the national team. Tayseer Barakat, a Palestinian businessman from Kuwait(?), generously supported the team financially and arguably kept it on its feet until 2007 when he decided to start focusing his contributions on humanitarian efforts instead. Not to mention all the foregn-based players who have represented the Palestinian colours. 


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Palestine up three spots, climb to 171 in FIFA rankings



Draws this past month against Nepal and Kyrgyzstan did little to help improve Palestine's Abysmal rankings. Palestine now stands at 171 (35th in Asia) after starting the year out at 180.

We're a long ways away from our 115 ranking in June of 2006.

Transfer News & Speculation: Zatara to Zamalek



An Egyptian Daily has stated that Egyptian Giants Zamalek are preparing a revised bid for Palestinian winger Imad Zatara who currently plays for Syrianska in the Swedish Superettan (first division). Zamalek had agreed terms with Zatara after a week long trial during the winter break, the two clubs however, failed to reach an agreement over the transfer price and the deal fell through. If Zatara does move to Zamalek he will be the third Palestinian playing in Egypt's Premier League joining the likes of Al-Ahly goalkeeper Ramzi Saleh and Petrojet midfield general Mohammed Samara. After coming up through the ranks at Vasalunds IF Zatara made the jump to the Allsvenskan with Brommapojkarna he had a brief stint with Hungarian Premier League side Zalaegerszegi TE before returning to Sweden with Syrianska.

Let the Coaching Search Begin!

Originally, this post was going to be a follow up to What Now? Assessing the Problem. Football Palestine's first suggestion was going to be to fire Izzat Hamzeh, but he has beaten us to the punch. Last week, Hamzeh asked to be released from his contract so he could run for Presidency of the Jordanian FA. Which essentially proves the fact that he was nothing but a lackey, so I'm glad he is out of the way but this means the search for a new National Team manager should begin as soon as possible. We cannot afford to go the rest of the year without playing matches and without have a long-term manager. So here are the candidates that were put forth on a koora.com poll:

Mahmoud Al-Gohary:


Al-Gohary is the fan favorite, he is perhaps the only big-name candidate on this list. His hiring, however, will not happen and that may not be a bad thing. Al-Gohary has an impressive CV: He is the only person to have won the African Cup of Nations as a player and a coach (top scorer in 1959, led the team to glory in 1998), He led Egypt to a World Cup Finals in 1990 (their first appearance in 54 years) where they did quite well (draws against the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands before being denied a spot in the second round by England in the Final group game), He also won everything as a manager with Egypt's Al-Ahly and won the African Champions' League with Zamalek.
In 2002, he took up the managerial reigns for the Jordanian National Team, in his first challenge he managed to secure Jordan qualification for the 2004 Asian Cup, for the first time in their history. Not to shabby when you consider that Jordan was grouped with Iran, Lebanon, and DPR Korea. Jordan collected a whopping 15 points from 6 games losing only to Iran away (they secured a 3-2 victory at home) while also recording clean sheets in four of the six games. In the Finals Jordan went undefeated in group play securing 0-0 draws with South Korea and the UAE a 2-0 win snatched from the jaws of a draw against Kuwait was enough to see them through to the Quarterfinals, where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Japan.

The glowing review of Al-Gohary ends here. The man has some serious faults, first and foremost he is the Arab world's answer to Otto Rehhagel . He is the master of the 0-0 draw and negative play especially when his team is faced with a stronger or evenly matched opponent. Moreover, it seems that his career peaked in 2004 (with another famous scalping against Iran, this time at the Azadi Stadium), when Jordan pushed Iran to the limit in the first round of World Cup qualifying only for the wheels to come off the bus in the final two games against Iran at home and Qatar away. Since then, Jordan really hasn't done anything out of the ordinary, their 2007 AFC Asian Cup Qualifying Campaign was pitiful, Jordan could only register wins against Pakistan and their other win, against Oman, came in the final round of matches with everything effectively settled.

So although he has a track record of proven success, Al-Gohary comes with some limitations. Firstly, you can forget about advancing the quality of football from an attacking standpoint, what we will get is the kind of football that was on display during the 2002 World Cup Qualifying Campaign. All this really is a moot point, because Al-Gohary has accepted a cushy job as consultant to the Jordanian FA, which requires him to do absolutely nothing except making current coach Adnan Hamed's life a living hell.

Nicola Shahwan:


Shahwan has already coached the team, and he did quite a good job while in charge, with far fewer resources than a certain Izzat Hamzeh. The National Team is forever indebted to this man for discovering great talents in South America that were previously not on our radar. Pablo Abdala, Edgardo Abdala, Roberto Kettlun, Francisco Alam, and Roberto Bishara were all discovered by him and these players have all had long and fruitful careers with the National Team. Even after his tenure came to a close, Shahwan has been a perfect gentleman always willing to help out the team in any way he can. His CV is not as impressive although he did lead Deportivo La Serena to a record of 38 wins and 1 loss in 2002 en route to promotion to the Chilean Premier Division. He also coached CD Palestino of the Chilean Premier Division. His stint with the national team is a bit of a mixed bag, he led the U-23 team's 2004 Olympic qualifying campaign, winning against Nepal (2-1, 1-0), but eventually lost out in the penultimate round of qualifiers to Kuwait in extra-time. With the senior team, things started off brightly, but ended rather abruptly. Palestine under his command where a free-wheeling, Joga Bonito bunch. They came close to advancing in the Arab Cup but too many draws (albeit exciting ones) proved to be their achillies heel. The National Team lost to Morocco 3-1 and managed draws against Jordan (1-1), Sudan (2-2), and Kuwait (3-3). Qualification for the 2004 Asian Cup started with a 1-1 draw to Qatar but heart-breaking losses to Qatar (2-1) and Kuwait (2-1) left the campaign on life support. Palestine only managed one more point (vs. Singapore) and Shahwan's tenure came to an end with no wins to speak of.

Despite, the mixed record, I'd say Shahwan is the best coach we could hire at this point. He is eager and willing to be a part of our National Team set up. He speaks Arabic and Spanish (which is a huge plus), could help us attract more South American based talent, and plays positive football. With a better crop of domestic league players to choose from, I feel that he could help the team take that next step.

Ghassan Al-Balawi:


A coach from Gaza, who assisted Izzat Hamzeh in preparations for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers. He coached Al-Amar'y to a second place finish in the West Bank Premier League. Really not much to say other than that, but he was tied on 12% as the second most popular choice to lead the National Team.

Mohammed Al-Sabah/Naeem Al-Sweikeri:

Long-time assistant coaches with mixed records. Al-Sabah has the stronger CV, having led the Palestinian National Team at the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup were his 3-5-2 formation wreaked havoc on Cambodia, Guam, and Bangladesh. In my mind, if we are going to go with a domestic based coach he should get the job. Naeem Al-Sweikeri was in charge for two matches at the 2007 WAFF Championship which resulted in unimpressive 1-0 and 2-0 losses against Iraq and Iran, respectively.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palestinians Abroad: Ramzi Saleh Awarded Player of the Month in Egypt


Ramzi Saleh has been awarded with the Player of the Month award for the month of March. The Al-Ahly keeper but in some impressive performances filling in for out of form Amir AbdelHamid. Saleh's first start (2/26/2009) ended in a 1-0 loss to Ismaily but he quickly followed made up for that helping Al-Ahly go on a run of six games undefeated in Egyptian and African play including shutouts against Tanzania's Young Africans (3-0, 1-0) en route to round of sixteen. Domestically, Ramzi Saleh's form has lifted Al-Ahly to draws against Asyut Petroleum (2-2) and Ittihad Al-Shourta (0-0) and wins against Olympic (0-3) and Ittihad Alexandria (2-1).

Palestinians Abroad: Abusidu moves to Al-Tadamon




Majed Abusidu, who had butted heads with his former club over his participation in the AFC Challenge Cup has signed with Al-Tadamon of the Kuwaiti Premier League. The move comes after Al-Salmiya terminated Abusidu's contract following the player's unilateral decision to represent Palestine in the Challenge Cup. The move is a temporary one, Abusidu will stay with Al-Tadamon for the remaining 4 matches of the Kuwaiti Premier League season, and will then decide his future over the break. Last summer, Abusidu attracted attention from Egyptian superclub Al-Ahly who failed to reach an agreement over a transfer fee with Al-Salmiya.

Al-Tadamon stands in the 7th place in the 8-team league on a paltry 11 points, two points above the relegation zone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Now? Identifying the Problem.

One of the great things about football, and sport in general, is that there is always a tomorrow. A tournament of some kind is always just around the corner and fans of a team that failed to meet expectations can find hope again. I wish I could say the same about our situation, the fact of the matter is that the AFC Challenge Cup was our ticket to Qatar 2011. Our elimination from the Challenge Cup and consequently the Asian Cup means we will have to wait until 2014 World Cup qualifying starts up again in late 2011 or early 2012. Another edition of the Challenge Cup will also start around that time. So what do we do now? How do we learn from these mistakes and improve?

First and foremost, I think we have to realize that there were mistakes made at the very top level of management. I was willing to give FA Chairman Jibril Rajoub a chance despite his thuggish past. I thought that Rajoub's abrasive character would help the the Palestinian FA get a little respect from the AFC, that we could call up whomever we wanted provided it was for matches played on FIFA dates, and that conditions and preparations would be a little easier thanks to the mafioso's connections. Rajoub has failed on two of the three counts, although we were able to get a month-long training camp in before the Challenge Cup we were pushed around by Jordanian clubs and we couldn't even get a decent friendly against a national team or big club.



Our ineptitude this campaign is possibly best embodied by our National Team coach Izzat Hamzeh. Most coaches are hired after members of the board of the FA meet and discuss present applications and potential targets. Well, in this case, the Jordanian FA appointed him for us, and the folks at the Palestinian FA who were still fighting over the FA presidency accepted to take him since we needed a coach for the rapidly approaching WAFF Championships in Tehran. It is important to note, that some people were deeply suspicious about his hiring. It was seen as a way to get rid of a member of the Jordanian National Team's backroom staff without actually firing him. It seems that in Izzat Hamzeh, the Jordanians have the perfect puppet who would put the interests of Jordanian football before that of Palestinian football (more on this later). For some reason, losses to Iran and Qatar by 3-0 and 1-0 scores respectively earned him an extension. A 1-1 draw in the first match to be played on Palestinian soil gave him some credibility.



Any credibility Hamzeh and Rajoub might have gained thanks to the historic match played in Faisal Al-Husseini stadium has been dashed thanks to their decisions concerning squad selection. As many of you know, this week is a FIFA international fixture date, meaning that clubs cannot refuse to release their players to international teams. Essentially, what this means is that Palestine had an opportunity to pick absolutely anyone in any club, in any country. What did Hamzeh and Rajoub decide to do? Leave out a host of midfielders that could have solved problems on the wing and in the holding position. The inclusion of Imad Zatara, Edgardo Abdala, Roberto Kettlun, Fadi Lafi, and Mohmmed Samara would have helped immensely. (I notably left Ramzi Saleh off that list, because I feel the decision to keep him in training with Al-Ahly was the correct one, since it would further cement his place as Al-Ahly #1 and because Mohammed Shbair is a more than adequate goalkeeper.)

So the question is: Why all the notable omissions? (and the not so notable ones: Where was Fadi Salim? A pacy winger who notched up six goals with Merkaz Tulkarm this past season) It was wise to include a lot of West Bank Premier League players, that move in itself represents a move in the right direction. Many of the young guns who were included did very well with their first caps, the cream of the crop being Said Al-Sobakhi who scored Palestine's lone goal of the tournament off an exquisite header. Eighteen of the twenty-two players that made the trip to Nepal were WBPLers. The only foreign-based players were former WBPLers Ahmad Keshkesh and Fahed Attal along with Majed Abusidu (Salmiya, Kuwait) and Roberto Bishara(CD Palestino, Chile). Surely, the inclusion of four more foreign based players would have provided better balance in the squad. If Kettlun and Zatara were in the squad there would be no need to play Ismail Al-Amour as a playmaker, nor would there be any reason to play Majed Abusidu, a natural right-back, as a holding midfielder. The inclusion of Edgardo Abdala, who is a hoover in the middle of the pitch would have also gone a long way in helping to solve the tactical problems. Izzat Hamzeh decided not to call up Fadi Lafi and Al-Faisaly defender Shareef Adnan so not to offend their clubs. As for Samara, Zatara, Abdala, and Kettlun he did not even make an attempt to call them up.

The ٍٍٍٍShareef Adnan situation is particularly rich. After calling up the player to participate in the Amman training camp, Izzat Hamzeh cut him, not for any tactical reason, no... but for holding Jordanian citizenship. Essentially, the player was cut because capping him would set a dangerous precedent, it would mean any Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, not just ones registered as refugees could play for Palestine. The fact that Adnan played for the King's club- Al-Faisaly further complicated matters. Izzat Hamzeh, and of course his slave-master Rajoub, basically did the bidding of the Jordanian FA here. Why? Well because Izzat Hamzeh is beholden to them and Jibril Rahoub would sell his mother for a couple of dinars. Allow me to paint the picture of how whipped Izzat Hamzeh is:

-Izzat Hamzeh got this job thanks to Jordanian FA president Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein

-Izzat Hamzeh is a Jordanian citizen, defying the monarchy, would lead to his life becoming very shitty, very fast.

-Izzat Hamzeh's son, Ibrahim is receiving a full scholarship to study abroad thanks to Queen Rania. He also worked with daddy at the Arab Bank Group.

I could go on... but there is a silver lining... Izzat Hamzeh is not going to stay on as coach of the National Team. So at least one of our problems has been nipped in the bud, let's hope this will be the last time we're subservient to the Jordanian FA.

Next up... Solutions for going forward