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

So he circumvented the checkpoint on foot, rejoining his teammates farther down the highway. Other Palestinian players have been imprisoned, fatally shot at protests, and injured or killed in conflicts in Gaza . Security forces have raided clubs and paid a recent visit to the Palestine Football Association (PFA).All of which makes the underdog teams first-ever participation in Asia s biggest soccer tournament, which kicks off Friday, a cause of celebration after an otherwise difficult year for Palestinians. Recommended: How much do you know about the Palestinians? go here Take our quiz The team qualified for the Asian Cup by beating the Philippines last May.Thousands turned out in the West Bank to welcome the players home after a victory that earned them their first-ever slot in Asias biggest soccer tournament, which started Friday in Australia . As the 115th-ranked team globally, a notch above Iraq, nobody expects Palestine to bring home a trophy. Its first game Monday is against Japan, ranked 54th and the tournament favorite. Butthe young men who charge down the field bearing the name of Palestine on their jerseys see themselves as much more than soccer players. Theyre nicknamedfedayeen, after the Palestinianresistancefightersofthe 1960s and '70s.
Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/asian-soccer-tournament-field-dreams-palestines-players-120004262.html

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