History and Government Faculty Publications

Title

Playing for Identity and Independence: The Issue of Palestinian Statehood and the Role of FIFA

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2012

Journal Title

Soccer & Society

Volume

13

Issue

5-6

First Page

653

Last Page

666

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2012.730768

Abstract

While the United Nations has 193 members, FIFA has 208 members. One reason for the disparity in these figures is that FIFA allows some regions with special political circumstances, such as Palestine, to play alongside other de jure recognized states in the world. This essay examines the role of international football in providing the Palestinians the chance to participate with other countries in two ways. First, this essay examines the opportunity that Palestine has to participate in major cup tournaments. Although their on-field success has been limited, the presence of a Palestinian national team allows to compete and participate like any other country and this has helped retain a sense of national identity. Secondly, football, especially at the youth level, also provides a mechanism for peaceful interaction, which could potentially help to build bridges between the Palestinian and Jewish communities and to resolve the ongoing Middle East crisis.

Keywords

Palestine, international football, soccer, FIFA, identity, independence

Comments

Soccer & Society Special Issue: Soccer in the Middle East


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