Coaching Chaos: PFA had the chance to hire Stefano Cusin, others rejected NT post

Cusin was Walter Zenga’s assistant at Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2016-17.

Football Palestine has learned that the Palestine Football Association had the chance to appoint Stefano Cusin as the national team manager. The Italian tactician is best known for a slew of victories as the manager of Ahli Al-Khaleel between 2014 and 2015 that saw the Hebron side lift the Yasser Arafat Cup, the Palestine Cup, and the Palestine Super Cup.

Cusin had offered his services to the PFA after returning for a brief second stint at Ahli Al-Khaleel in 2019.

According to one source, the PFA rejected his offer because they were insistent that the the national team be led by a Palestinian.

Last month, Stefano Cusin signed on to become manager of Shahr Khodro in the Persian Gulf Pro League and has since succesfully guided them to the Asian Champions League group stage for the first time in their history.

Reliable sources have also informed Football Palestine that the role of national team manager was offered to Olympic Team coach Ayman Sandouqa but he turned it down. Multiple people close to the situation have speculated that Sandouqa did not want to deal with the increasingly political nature of the post and preferred to have full control as manager of the U23s.

Palestine’s coaching situation remains unclear with even players unaware of who will lead them next month in a World Cup qualifier against Singapore. Noureddine Ould Ali was not on the bench for four matches during January that saw a B side triumph in a friendly tournament with wins over Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, and Burundi with Goalkeeper Coach Makram Daboub guiding the team. 

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