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Palestine: National Team Draws With Saudi Arabia in Historic Home Game

The Palestinian national football team hosted Saudi Arabia in Al-Ram in the West Bank for the first time on Tuesday, an unusual move as Arab sports teams play against Palestine in third countries to avoid applying for Israeli permits to enter the country.

Palestinian fans can be seen waving flags and cheering at the game, a double qualifying match for both the 2022 World Cup and Asia Cup 2023.

Saudi national team coach Herve Renard said it was a “difficult game” while speaking to the press after the match.

“Palestine beat Uzbekistan last month and so they were very confident and of course with this historic game they wanted to beat Saudi Arabia,” Renard added.

The Saudi football team reportedly agreed to play within the occupied West Bank at the request of the Palestinian Authority, as Palestinian fans miss out on viewing their team play at home. The game, however, has reportedly drawn some criticism from some Palestinian activists, who claim the move is an attempt at a normalisation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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