Doha, 10 May 2023 - HE Palestinian Minister of Sports Major General Jibril Rajoub affirmed that the participation of his country's national team for the third time in a row in the AFC Asian Cup is a source of pride for every Palestinian, in light of the conditions the Palestinian territories are going through in terms of the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation, and its targeting that has reached sports and athletes.
In an exclusive statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), His Excellency expressed his hope that the national team will perform well in this edition of the AFC Asian Cup, which will be held from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10, 2024, and that the team will qualify for advanced positions.
He pointed out that 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 remarkable and unprecedented success in organizing the last edition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - becoming a role model.
In regard to his expectations for the results of the tournament draw, HE Palestinian Minister of Sports emphasized his high confidence in the capabilities of the national team players, and in the coaching staff's experience, noting 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 to prepare and equip well for this participation.
His Excellency pointed out that the Palestinian team was drawn in the previous two versions with its Japanese counterpart, and then with the Australian team, who were holding the championship title, underlining that the technical staff of the national team developed a plan to prepare for the championship, as the Palestinian national team recently played a friendly match with its Bahraini counterpart, which ended in victory with 2-1, provided that it will play many training camps and friendly matches in the coming period during the days of FIFA.
The Palestinian team will play two matches with its Indonesian and Chinese counterparts in June, Major General Rajoub added, noting that the team will play against its Vietnamese counterpart in September, and will also participate in the King's Cup in Malaysia.
Through this participation, the Palestinian national team aspires to reach the advanced positions of the tournament, to represent its country's cause in the best way possible, explaining that sports is one of the manifestations of the Palestinian national identity, and a platform for delivering its message alongside the suffering of its people to the world, His Excellency added.