Palestine to face Comoros in Doha on June 24th

Football Palestine can confirm that the national team will head to Qatar in late May to undergo a training camp ahead of their final 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Singapore and Yemen next month.

Palestine is all but mathematically eliminated from contention but will need to avoid finishing bottom of the group or face the prospect of playoff just to participate in 2023 Asian Cup qualification.

Furthermore, several Filipino sources have flagged that the Philippines national team will also camp in Qatar later this month (May 18-31) and are set to contest two friendlies against Syria and Palestine during that time period.

If the match does go ahead, it will be the first encounter between the two teams since May 30th, 2014 when Palestine beat Philippines 1-0 to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia.

The camp will be crucial for Palestine and their interim coach, Markam Dabboub, who will look to stabilize the team after a disastrous 5-0 loss against Saudi Arabia that led to the dismissal of Noureddine Ould Ali.

Not only will the team need to refocus and re-calibrate on qualifying for China 2023 there is also the small matter of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup. The Group Stage is set to kick off in late November but Palestine will need to beat Comoros in order to take their place in Group C alongside Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the winner of the Jordan-South Sudan playoff.

With the match taking place in the summer, Comoros are expected to field a far stronger side than if the playoff were to be held in November. Players based in Europe will need the approval of their clubs to participate in the playoff on June 24th (which falls outside of the June FIFA window) which could lead to absences for both Palestine and Comoros.

According to Comoros Football, there’s a good chance that the reserve team or a mix of legionnaires and local players will contest the match for the very reason.

For their part, the Palestine Football Association has not released any information regarding the national team since their last match on March 30th. Palestine’s governing body has not announced the dismissal of Ould Ali nor the appointment Makram Dabboub nor has it announced plans in regards to training camps, friendlies, or a permanent managerial appointment.