Israel govt puts Pakistan’s Palestine tour in jeopardy

KARACHI: The delay in issuing an NOC from the Israeli government to the Palestine Football Association has put the Pakistan football team’s tour to Palestine in danger.

The Palestine Football Association has sought an NOC from the Israeli government for the Pakistan’s tour to Palestine but so far no satisfactory response has been given by the Israeli authorities. However, the Palestine Football Association (PFA) has told the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) that the Israeli government will issue them the NOC by Monday (tomorrow).

“Israel is yet to issue an NOC to the Palestine Football Association which has minimized the chances of the tour. The PFA has told us that the NOC will be issued by Monday next. Then we will have to ask our own government for an NOC and if we are not issued the NOC quickly then we will have to cancel the trip as we have very little time at our disposal,” the secretary of the PFF Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi told ‘The News’ on Saturday.

Pakistan are scheduled to fly out of Lahore for Palestine on May 22 to play the remaining two matches of the four-match bilateral series against Palestine on May 24 and 27 at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium, Al-Ram near Ramallah.

If the trip, which looks to be in jeopardy, is made possible then Pakistani team will have to first go to Jordan and then travel to Palestine through Israel by road.