Palestine blame Israel, want to re-schedule Singapore match

GAZA CITY: The Palestine football federation urged FIFA on Monday to re-schedule their qualifier with Singapore for the 2010 World Cup explaining their no-show on the pitch because Israel denied them travel permits. 

The match was scheduled for Singapore on Sunday, but the Palestinian team failed to show, provoking Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic into slamming his opponents as unprofessional and for FIFA to award the match to Singapore. 

“We are asking FIFA to re-timetable the match and help us get Israeli permits,” said Jamal Zaqut, an official from the Palestinian federation. 

The Palestinian team, he said, were due to arrive in Singapore on Oct 23 but were not given the necessary Israeli permits to leave the Gaza Strip. 

Zaqut said the Palestinians had informed the world governing body FIFA as well as the Asian and Singapore federations about the situation on Oct 25 – three days before kick off. 

Singapore had to take to the field on Sunday despite Palestine failing to show up. They kicked off in an empty stadium before the match was abandoned by referee Sun Baojie. 

FIFA match commissioner Shahir Ahmed of the Maldives said he was unable to officially call off the game before then because Palestine had not indicated that they were not coming. 

Singapore were awarded the game 3-0 by FIFA, to give them a 7-0 aggregate victory, as Avramovic said the Palestinians failed to contact either FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation to say they could not make it. – AFP

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