Saudi soccer players visit Jerusalem Muslim holy site

Saudi Arabia's national soccer team members pose in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Sinan Abu Mayzer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Players from Saudi Arabia's national soccer team travelled to Jerusalem's Old City on Monday to pray at one of Islam's holiest sites.

The players visited the Noble Sanctuary, a compound that houses the Golden Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam.

"This is the most beautiful day in my life," said Yasser Al-Mishal, the president of the Saudi Football Federation.

"Really, it's hard to express my feelings. I thank God that I could visit al-Aqsa mosque and pray inside the mosque."

The Dome of the Rock is built where the Prophet Mohammad is said to have ascended to heaven and it encompasses the Foundation Stone, a rock holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians. Jordan has custodianship of the holy sites.

The area is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is revered by Jews as Temple Mount, the site of two biblical Jewish temples, and is situated in a part of Jerusalem captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that has not been recognised internationally.

The Saudi players are due to face the Palestinian national team in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday for a World Cup qualifying match.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: -1
Cxense type: NA
User access status: 3

Next In Football

Soccer-Ukraine will not play for a draw against Austria, says Shevchenko
Soccer-Dutch to stay largely unchanged in push to improve
Soccer-Finland draw hope from past ahead of Belgium showdown
Soccer-Belgium's Thorgan Hazard ruled out of Finland game
Soccer-Melbourne City down Macarthur to set up sky blue A-League final
Soccer-Germany's Loew not surprised by heroics of highly-rated Gosens
Soccer-Bale dismisses Mancini's Stoke comparison as Wales target Italy upset
Soccer-Luis Enrique not worried about Spain's chances despite Poland draw
Soccer-Injury time goal hands Flamengo first defeat in Brazil
Soccer-Poland's mentality was key in Spain draw, says coach Sousa

Stories You'll Enjoy