PFA announces Mauritania Friendly
As previously reported on our Twitter page Palestine is scheduled to face Mauritania on August 11th in Nouakchott, an official FIFA friendly date (although the game has yet to be posted on FIFA's website). The PFA has also announced Mousa Bezaz's squad on their website (it is strewn with errors, Roberto Bishara is called Abdullah Bishara and Imad Zatara is called Mohammed Zatara). The squad is expected to head to Nouakchott on the 7th of August. The Mauritanian squad will train in Senegal for a week where the will hold two friendlies against club sides. Here is the list of 22 players who have been called up:
GK: Abdullah Saidawi (Hilal Al-Quds), Mohammed Shbair (Shabab Al-Khaleel), Fahed Al-Fakhuri (Thaqafi Tulkarem)
D: Ammar Abuseliesel (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Ahmed Harbi (Al-Am'ary), Abelatif Bahdari (Wehdat, Jordan), Rafit Eyad (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Khaled Mahdi (Al-Am'ary), Hatem Dheeb (Hilal Al-Quds), Samer Helsi (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Majed Abusidu (Tadamon, Kuwait),
M: Suleiman Abeed (Al-Am'ary), Hussam Abu Saleh (Hilal Al-Quds), Khader Abu Hamad (Wadi Al-Nes), Husam Wadi (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Hisham Al-Salahi (Hilal Al-Quds), Atef Abu Bilal (Bnei Eilat, Israel), Ismail Al-Amour (Jabal Al-Mokaber)
F: Ashraf Nu'man (Wadi Al-Nes), Ahmad Keshkesh (Wehdat, Jordan), Fahed Attal (Wehdat, Jordan), Mohammed Jamal (Hapoel Umm Al-Fahm, Israel)
Notable Absences: National Team Captain Ramzi Saleh has declined the invitation saying that he needed time to acclimate in his new surrounding with Al-Merreikh. Hatem Karim (Jabal Al-Mokaber, ex-Hapoel Bnei Lod) who had a fine debut alongside Bahdari in defence against Sudan is out injured Due to the fact that this friendly is being organized days instead of weeks or months in advance Mousa Bezaz has been unable to call on Roberto Bishara (Palestino, Chile), Imad Zatara (Syrianska, Sweden), and Mohammed Shatrit (JA Drancy, France). There is also Mohammed Samara (Arab Contractors, Egypt) who was curiously not even called up along with one-time staples but now rare commodities Roberto Kettlun (recently released from Teramo Calcio) and Edgardo Abdala (Huachipato, Chile).
Sharbini Bros. Update: PFA Official Mohammed Abu Hiltem had this to say "We tried to call them up more than once, but every time they gave excuses for not being able to join up that I view as unacceptable. It is the dream of every player to represent his nation no matter where he plays." There are some things that need to be cleared up with Mr. Abu Hiltem, in order for Ahmad or Anas to play for Palestine the FA would have to petition to get their nationalities changed, as far as we know this has not happened (if it has happened then the brothers are only allowed to played for Palestine). You'd also have to think about what these unacceptable excuses were that the Sharbini Brothers gave if Abu Hiltem is indeed telling the truth (I for one do not think he's telling the truth).
Who are these Mysterious Mauritanians? There isn't a whole lot of information about them, their FA's official website is no longer functioning and they haven't played a match since their 4-1 loss to Morocco in November 2008. They had a terrible 2010 World Cup Qualifying campaign losing all six games against Morocco, Ethiopia, and Rwanda while only scoring three goals and giving up 19 goals. Despite being one of the worst teams in African Qualifying the Mystery Men of Mauritania are ranked seven spots above Palestine.