Palestinian Football Players Return to the Field

Gaza, MINA – Members of the Palestinian soccer team for disabled athletes returned to the field in Gaza on Tuesday for the first time since movement limitation because of coronavirus pandemic.

The Palestinian soccer team consists of around 26 Palestinian athletes whom they lost limbs from the Israeli attack on Gaza, where the Hamas region, Islamic and Israeli groups have carried out repeated attacks since 2008.

“We are currently returning to the field. We are training and playing in the league, “said Mai Al-Yazji soccer player, 14, referring to an amputated soccer team for boys and girls under the age of 16, MEMO reported.

Gaza has reported 72 cases of coronavirus and one death due to shortness of breath. The Mediterranean seaside region has around two million inhabitants, many of whom live in poverty.

Gaza health authorities recently allowed sports clubs, fitness centers, mosques, restaurants, and public spaces to re-open to the public.

Around 80 adults were amputated to compete in their own soccer league. Many of them were injured in the conflict with Israel, according to the Palestinian Football Association which was amputated in Gaza.

“For the first time, we love playing football,” said Weam Al-Astal, 15, who said he lost a leg when an Israeli missile landed next to his house in 2014.

“I now love this sport more.” and I dream of becoming a famous player. ”

The association sponsors the Palestinian league in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the ICRC also provides uniforms and crutches.

“We are very happy to be able to restart football activities despite amputations, training and competition,” said Ignacio Casares, ICRC Director in Gaza.

Fouad Abu Ghalyoun, Chair of the Palestinian Amputation Football Association, said the collaboration with the ICRC helped in the rehabilitation of amputated people and re-engagement with the community. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)