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Asian Cup 2015: Palestinians hope footballers can put them on the map

After battling huge odds to reach January’s tournament in Australia, the team and fans believe success on the field will help lead to recognition off it

2014 ended with a sour note for Palestinian national aspirations. On 30 December, a United Nations resolution calling for the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the establishment of an independent state by the end of 2017 narrowly failed to gain the necessary majority. But for Palestine and its supporters, the new year will bring with it at least one national triumph – the Palestinian football team will be taking part in a top-level tournament for the first time in its history.

It is ironic that Australia will play host to Palestine’s debut appearance in the 2015 Asian Cup. Australia was the only nation other than the United States to vote against the UN security council resolution. Five nations abstained, eight voted in favour, denying the resolution a necessary nine-vote majority.

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