History and Government Faculty Publications
Playing for Identity and Independence: The Issue of Palestinian Statehood and the Role of FIFA
Soccer & Society
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.
Palestine, international football, soccer, FIFA, identity, independence
Duerr, Glen M.E., "Playing for Identity and Independence: The Issue of Palestinian Statehood and the Role of FIFA" (2012). History and Government Faculty Publications. 134.
Soccer & Society Special Issue: Soccer in the Middle East