03 January 2015
Palestine has set a new benchmark for nations like the Kurds and the Kosovars, who see football as a key part of their toolbox to achieve statehood, with its qualification for this month’sAsian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup even if the Palestinian road to statehood is increasingly pockmarked by seemingly insurmountable barriers.
When Palestine kicks off its first Asian Cup match against Japan on 12 January in Australia, the football pitch will have emerged against a backdrop of setbacks as the most important venue on which the fledgling state has advanced its quest to take its place among the family of nations.
The kick-off follows the United Nations Security Council’s recent refusal to set a deadline for an end to almost half a century of Israeli occupation and comes as the International Criminal Courtdebates whether the Palestine Authority is an entity or a state. As a state, Palestine would qualify for taking Israel to task on alleged war crimes as well as infractions on international law governing the administration of occupied territory.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Wuerzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, a syndicated columnist, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 06/01/2015