Palestine's WAFF Championship squad announced


A tournament held outside of the stipulated FIFA windows for friendlies will often result in experimental squads. After the announcements of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; Palestine manager Noureddine Ould Ali has announced the 23 man squad that will participate in the 2019 WAFF Championship.

Club commitments means the likes of professional players based in Chile, Egypt, Germany, Morocco, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States will not feature at this tournament.

A whopping 15 players in the current squad were not called up to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Amr Kaddoura, Jaka Ihbeisheh, Daniel Kabir Mustafa, Tamer Salah, Mohammed Saleh, Alexis Norambuena, Musab Al-Battat, Pablo Tamburrini, Jonathana Cantillana, Tamer Seyam, Nazmi Albadawi,  Khaled Salem, Mahmoud Wadi, Sameh Maraaba, Yashir Islame were omitted for various reasons.

Squad Turnover


For a contingent of players, the Asian Cup represented their last participation with the national team. Daniel Kabir Mustafa had been conspicuously absent for five years before appearing again- a knee problem hampered his comeback with the national team and at 35 his best years are behind him

The other players in the side that were over 30 have also been omitted- Tamer Salah (33), Alexis Norambuena (35), and Jaka Ihbeisheh (32). Only the latter has an outside chance of continuing his national team career given the fact that he plays in the first tier of a European League.

The Chilean based trio of Jonathan Cantillana and Pablo Tamburrini were some of the most underwhelming performers in the UAE and they'll need to rediscover their form at club level in order to be called back in. For the third time in his career, Khaled Salem's national team adventure is over and there will be few who will mourn that fact.

Amr Kaddoura, Tamer Seyam, Nazmi Albadawi, Yashir Islame, and Mahmoud Wadi were not available for selection due to club commitments.

Surprise Absences

While Mohammed Saleh is out recovering from an ACL tear was no official explanation hfor the omission of Sameh Maraaba (rumoured to be getting married this month) and Musab Al-Battat (the third most capped active player in the current pool). 

Some players that were in camp and expected to play a part in Iraq have also been surprisingly been left off the final squad list. 

Mahmoud Awesat, Ahmed Maher Wridat, and Fadi Salbees were amongst the final cuts from the training camp squad that also included goalkeeper Naim Abu Aker, centre back Ahmed Zreiqi, and midfielders Musa Saleem and Hani Abdallah. 

New Faces 

The WAFF Championship could witness the debut of a whole host of new talent. With the absence of Musab Al-Battat look for either Ahmed Qatmish or Musa Farawi to take his spot at right back. The younger Bahdari (the only other player over 30 in the squad) should make his long awaited debut as should Spain-based Yaser Hamed Mayor. 

A shortage of forwards could mean Oday Dabbagh plays up front with Mahmoud Abu Warda playing on the flank. 

Just behind the striker, the absence of Nazmi Albadawi, Ahmed Awad, and Sameh Maraaba means there will be an opportunity for Raed Dahleh, Mohammed Al-Jaabari, or Amir Qitawi to state their case. 

Squad in full....