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The Final Challenge: Palestine and the Phillipines

Chris Greatwich’s Twitter profile reads as follows: “Professional footballer and Academy Director at Kaya FC. On occasion, I bang in a few goals for the Philippine National Team.” One of those goals came in the final minute of stoppage time at the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup to salvage a 1-1 draw against relative titans Singapore. Another came in the very next match against Vietnam, opening up a 1-0 lead in what would become a 2-0 victory. Still another—perhaps the most important one yet—came just yesterday in the semi-finals of the 2014 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Challenge Cup against host country Maldives. It put the Azkals ahead 3-2 in extra time, broke Maldivian hearts, and sent them to their first-ever Challenge Cup final.


 

Jawhar Nasser Jawhar and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya will never play football again. The two Palestinian teenagers were returning home when, at a checkpoint, they were shot repeatedly in the feet, mauled by attack dogs, and beaten by Israeli forces. Both survived, but will be fortunate just to be able to walk again. A Border Police spokesman said that they had been carrying bombs and had been the instigators. But they were also football players. Jawhar took nearly a dozen bullets to his feet and Halabiya took one in each of his feet. Their country won 2-0 against Afghanistan in their semi-final match in the AFC Challenge Cup amid continuing cries for Israel to be kicked out of FIFA.

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