The Palestinian people are gearing themselves up for their first home match in years against Jordon on Sunday, as FIFA’s Sepp Blatter arrives in the Holy Land to unveil Palestine’s first national stadium at Ram, East Jerusalem.
As is always the case in the Middle East, the match represents much more than a triumph for football, with Rami Rabi, star of the Palestinian side, stating “It’s not just a friendly game between us and Jordan; it allows us to show the world we exist as a nation.”
But, as explained by the Guardian’s Seth Freedman, Palestinian fans hoping to get to the game may experience serious difficulties.
Freedman: “Security restrictions have once again been stepped up across the West Bank in the wake of the stabbing of two Israelis by a Palestinian man in Jerusalem on Thursday. Fans from surrounding towns could find it more difficult than usual to make it through the checkpoints and roadblocks for tomorrow’s game. The only concession made by the Israeli authorities for match day has been to allow Palestinian security forces to police the stadium in Ar-Ram – an area usually off-limits to the Palestinian constabulary. Otherwise, the Israeli security arrangements will be ‘business as usual’, say Palestinian officials.”
A Sky News report into the new Palestinian stadium can be seen here.