Saturday, January 31, 2015

Palestine Plays Jordan In The Asia Cup In Melbourne

As Australians, we take for granted the opportunity of watching our national team play any number of world sports, on a world stage. But for Palestinians, the prospect of watching their team compete in a championship of any kind...well, I admit, I cannot even imagine the pride!

FIFA is one of the only world bodies in the world to recognise Palestine as it's own entity - the UN is still in battles about doing the same. Which meant that this strip of highly contested land and it's people were able to represent in the Asia Cup, played in Australia for the past month.

I went along to the Palestine v Jordan game when I was home in Melbourne last, to soak in the energy, joy and sheer unadulterated pride these Arabs had for their team, and identity.

Walking into the ground, which was played at AAMI Stadium, labelled Melbourne Rectangular Stadium for this tournament, was electric. There were groups of people gathering, music playing, cheering and dancing. Families all decked out in their flag and their colours.

The stadium was not full, by any stretch, but what it lacked in bums on seats, it made up for in voice and song, and atmosphere.

The two sides, only distinguishable by a star on the Jordanian flag, stood and honoured their national song - the Palestinians each standing, facing their flag, hands on heart.

The game kicked off, under the blazing sinking Melbourne summer sun. The Jordanians too strong, kicking away to a 4-0 lead.

But then the single Palestine goal happened, and the place erupted. The emotional was contagious, and you could not help but raise to your feet and cheer for this young side, faced with such adversity just to be there.

Jordan scored another goal, to take the match 5-1, but really the notion of humanity was the winner on this night. Sport bring people together.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...