Professional Football comes to Palestine
Well, it's probably more accurate to label it semi-professional... but either way the West Bank Premier League has returned! This will be the first time some element of professionalism is brought to the game and it could mark uninterrupted league football for the third year running in the Occupied Territories. We reported earlier that some big names have joined the league. Some notable names:
- Fadi Lafi (Hilal Al-Quds) who has stared for Wehdat, Shabab Al-Ordon, and Faisaly in Jordan along with a couple of stints in Bahrain.
- Hernan Madrid (Wadi Al-Nes) has played for several clubs in the Chilean Primera, most recently donning the colors of Huachipato and Union de Calera. He has one cap to his name having represented Palestine in a World Cup Qualifier against Uzbekistan in 2004.
- Hatem Karim (Hilal Al-Quds) The Arab-Israeli debuted against Sudan and impressed greatly. Before moving the Jerusalem club he played in the second-tier of Israeli football with Bnei Lod.
- Emad "Abou El-Khair" Ayoub (Wadi Al-Nes) Perhaps most remembered for delivering Palestine its first ever World Cup Qualifying win with this goal against Hong Kong. His career has been marred by injury once on the books of Cairo Giants Zamalek, he has spent the past season playing with Tasnee' of the Third Division.
Of course there are other players to watch out for in this league... Fadi Salím- the winger cum forward- who fans will surely remember as a key squad member of the 2006 Challenge Cup plays for Merkaz Tulkarem. Then there is perhaps the best player in the league- Ismail Amour who also plays for Wadi Al-Nes. On the subject of Wadi Al-Nes expect to hear their name a lot, they were crowned Yasser Arafat Cup Champions this month and followed that up by beating Jabal Al-Mokaber (last season's league champions) in the Super Cup. One would have to think that with all the big names in their ranks they should romp to the title.
We will be keeping you up to date with all the scores on our Twitter account and will try to post the latest standings weekly.