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‘An oasis of hope’ – how football is a cause for optimism in Palestine | Palestine

Of all the jobs in the world of football, there cannot be many more difficult than that of managing Palestine. Noureddine Ould Ali, whose second spell in charge ended in 2021, knows that better than most. “There are unique challenges,” Ould Ali says. “Imagine if Gareth Southgate had half his players in another city and they can’t come or there are checkpoints between Liverpool and Manchester and some players get turned back. This is the situation when you coach Palestine.”

The pandemic has made fulfilling international fixtures tricky but that has been par for the Palestinian course since their entry into Fifa in 1998 on the back of strong support from Sepp Blatter. Israel’s increasing control of Palestinian territory since 1948 is a major international issue with consequences in every field.

Football is no different and there have been a number of high-profile examples over the years. In 2007, 18 members of the national team were…

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