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Football in the Holy Land

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Yossi Benayoun when with Liverpool (Adam Davy/Empics Sport)

Published: 10 June 2017

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Bleacher Report's James Montague travelled to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza to explore football's power to unite and to understand the politics at play for those in love with the beautiful game there - a three-part series.

Part One - Football in the Holy Land: 5,000 miles from Heaven – 30.05.17
James speaks in Herzliya with members of Israel's Official Liverpool FC Supporters Club. "It’s this connection between a man and a football club. You can't explain it.’

Jibril Rajoub, president Palestine Football Association  (James Montague)

Part Two - Football in the Holy Land: The Green Line –31.05.17
James visits Beitar Givat Ze'ev Shevi FC, one of the Israeli settlement teams at the centre of a dispute between FIFA, the Israeli and Palestinian football federations, their respective governments and even international human rights organisations; and then Jibril Rajoub in Ramallah. ‘'Why are you stopping people from playing football here in Givet Ze'ev? People live here. Abandoning football from a certain place is like abandoning a basic right from any human being.’

Mahmoud Wadi, the Palestinian superstar trapped in Gaza (James Montague)

Part Three - Football in the Holy Land: the superstar locked in Gaza – 01.06.17
James visits the Gaza Strip, where conditions for the Palestinian players are worse than in the West Bank. ‘I've lost so many opportunities.’  Includes video [6:36].

Related: Win for Israel in this round at FIFA


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