Their entry onto the pitch on Sunday made the stadium stands vibrate Abdullah Bin Khalifa from Doha, and their exploit against Hong Kong (3-0) literally set them on fire.
It is under the applause and cheers of some 6,500 fans of the Asian Football Cup, the players of the Palestinian national team took to the field, repressing all their emotions deep within themselves. Only their admirable determination to carry high the colors of their martyred land prevailing over their deep bruises of the soul.
Among them, defender Mohamed Saleh, 30, a native of Gaza, whose house was destroyed and uncle, aunt and their children were murdered, had not heard from his family for two days. When it was time to put on his crampons, he drew from within himself and from prayer the resources to overcome the terrible anguish that gripped him.
At the end of the historic qualification of his glorious team in the round of 16, he, oscillating between laughter and tears, joy and sadness, confided, allowing himself to express his pride and happiness: “ Today, my family is subjected to a war of extermination. We play football for them, for Gaza, for our cause “.
In unison, Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestinian football federation, solemnly declared: “This team is the noblest symbol of our national identity. »