After nearly a year without football, the senior national team will train together and play a friendly in preparation for the restart of Asian Qualifiers later this year. Al-Fida’i is expected to camp locally- in Jericho from January 5th to January 14th.
The friendly against Kuwait is slated for January 18th.
As the friendly falls outside of FIFA’s official dates, manager Noureddine Ould Ali will face an uphill battle to secure the services of some of Palestine’s best players.
Egyptian based trio Mahmoud Wadi (Pyramids), Mohammed Saleh (El-Masry), and Badr Mousa (El Entag El Harby) are currently engaged in league play.
Yaser Hamed (Busaiteen/Bahrain) and Michel Termanini (Al-Nassr/Oman) are also club tied. Swiss-based Slaeh Chihadeh will also not be able to travel to Kuwait.
Of the foreign based players, only Mahmoud Eid, Yashir Islame, Jonathan Cantillana, Tamer Seyam (out of contract), Nazmi Albadawi, Ahmed Awad, and Amr Kaddoura (whose leagues are not currently in season) could possibly be called up.
Oday Dabbagh, who plies his trade in Kuwait, could plausibly be called up as well.
National team stalwarts Abdallah Jaber and Rami Hamadi, who joined clubs in the Israeli league last year will be club tied, thus freeing Ould Ali and the PFA from making a decision on their respective statuses.
As such, players from the local league will make up the bulk of this squad. Abdelatif Bahdari has retired further deepening the need to identify replacements at the center back positions. Voting for FIFA’s The Best award revealed that Sameh Maraba has been selected as the national team captain. The selection is contrary to the tradition of selecting the most tenured player to serve as captain. As it stands, Abdallah Jaber (56), Musab Al-Battat (42), Tamer Seyam (40), and Mohammed Darweesh (38- but with more starts) have more caps than Sameh Maraba (38).
Palestine have never beaten Kuwait in eight previous attempts. The last time the two sides met- a 2018 friendly- Kuwait emerged as 2-0 winners.