PFA finally reveals squad to face Saudi Arabia; with several controversial absences

After nearly a month of speculation, the Palestine Football Association revealed the 26-man squad that will travel to Saudi Arabia later today ahead of a crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier.

The squad is not without its good (and bad surprises) after an 18 month long saga it seems that the PFA has reversed its decision on calling up Palestinians that play in the Israeli Leagues. As such, Rami Hamadi will have his chance to equal Ramzi Saleh’s clean sheet record (16) against with a clean sheet against Saudi Arabia.

There was no such reprieve for Abdallah Jaber who butted heads with Hilal Al-Quds and the PFA when he was not paid his salary last year.

There were also no call-ups for Sweden-based duo Ahmed Awad and Amr Kaddoura alongside North Carolina FC’s Nazmi Al-Badawi. The pair had been issued release letters but later told they were part of a “reserve list” and were never booked travel onto Saudi Arabia.

In attack, Mahmoud Wadi will miss the tie through injury while the absence of in-form Mahmoud Eid has come as a surprise as he has been one of the best players in the Qatari second tier since joining Mesaimeer in January.

Mercifully, there is also no place for Khaled Salem, the player that had captivated Noureddine Ould Ali for much of his tenure that he featured at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Finals along with several crucial World Cup qualifiers.

The rest of the squad is as follows: