Palestinian Sports Minister: We are proud of our team’s third participation in the Asian Cup in light of the occupation’s restrictions and targeting of sports and athletes

Palestinian Minister of Sports Jibril Rajoub affirmed that his country’s third consecutive participation in the Asian Football Cup is a source of pride for every Palestinian in light of the conditions the Palestinian territories are going through, from the occupation’s restrictions and its targeting of everything Palestinian, including sports and athletes.

“We hope that our national team will perform well this time in the AFC Asian Cup, which will be held from January 12 to February 10, 2024, and that it will qualify for advanced roles,” Rajoub told Qatar News Agency (QNA). Everyone hopes that the presence of the national team in an Arab country will reflect positively on the performance of the players, especially since the organization of this tournament in Qatar comes after its impressive and unprecedented success in organizing the last edition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, until it became a role model.

Regarding his expectations for the results of the tournament draw, the Palestinian Minister of Sports stressed the high confidence in the capabilities of the national team players, and in the experience possessed by the technical staff, indicating that the presence of Palestine in the third level does not mean that it does not qualify for the advanced positions of the tournament, especially in light of the existence of a plan for good preparation and equipment. for this post.

Rajoub pointed out that the Palestinian team was drawn in the previous two versions with its Japanese counterpart, and in the second time with the Australian team, and they were holding the championship title, highlighting that the technical staff of the team developed a plan to prepare for the tournament, as the Palestinian team finally played a friendly match with its Bahraini counterpart, which ended with its victory 2 -1, provided that he will go through many training camps and friendly matches during the coming period during the FIFA days, where he will play two friendly matches with the Indonesian and Chinese national teams during the next month, and next September he will meet his Vietnamese counterpart, provided that he participates next October in the King’s Cup Championship in Malaysia.

Rajoub also affirmed that the Palestinian national team is looking forward to reaching the advanced roles of the championship in this participation, to be the best ambassador for the cause of his country, as sport is one of the manifestations of the Palestinian national identity, and a platform for delivering its message and the suffering of its people to the whole world.

He pointed to what the public support represents in terms of motivation for the players, saying: “We count a lot on the Palestinian masses present in the State of Qatar, and the Arab masses who support the Palestinian national team wherever it goes, and what we witnessed during the World Cup in terms of support from the masses for Palestine and raising the Palestinian flags is good.” Evidence of the importance of the support provided by the fans to the teams, and from here we invite all the fans to crawl to the stadiums, and support and advocate the Palestinian team during the tournament.

Rajoub highlighted that the Palestinian cause is usually present strongly in sports forums hosted by the State of Qatar, expressing his complete conviction that the national team will find great public support on Qatari soil, and from all Arab sports fans.

The Palestinian Minister of Sports stressed that the Qatari position was and still is supportive of Palestine in all forums, whether at the political or sports levels. Attempts aimed at obliterating the Palestinian identity and existence.

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