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Ex-Palestine player killed, drawing calls for FIFA sanctions of Israel

Aug 3, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

ahed-3

The horrific displays of violence between the armies of Hamas and Israel claimed several journalists, including a former Palestine national team player, this weekend.

Former PNT midfielder and current sports broadcaster Ahed Zaqout, 49, was killed in his sleep when an Israeli bomb hit his apartment in Gaza.

The death, unsurprisingly, is already being used as politically-charged reasoning for FIFA sanctions against Israel’s national team, but the debate as to whether FIFA should discipline Israel is not new; The Israel Football Association dodged sanctions as recently as June.

From Reuters:

“Palestine has lost one of its best players, he may have been the best midfielder we ever had,” Gaza sports journalist Khaled Zaher told Reuters.

Neighbours and medics who rushed to Zaqout’s apartment said he was killed on Wednesday while sleeping in his bed. The 49-year-old was not known to belong to any particular political entity and had never expressed clear political views.

The fair-haired midfielder captained the junior national side and turned out once for the full national team in 1994 in a friendly against a team of French stars that included Michel Platini.

The Gaza situation is hot-button and charged, and obviously could have a major affect on the soccer fans of both Palestine and Israel. The Israeli national team is tied at No. 67 in FIFA’s latest rankings, while Palestine is No. 85.

  1. dkalev - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    It’s amazing the talent on that national teAm yet they can never pull it together… And benayoun isn’t getting any younger either…

  2. jaxhotspur11 - Aug 3, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    If sanctions were put on every country that took military action in a dispute, then the Swiss would be 10-time World Cup Champions.

  3. scyankee64 - Aug 3, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    If anyone should be sanctioned, it should be Qatar for buying the rockets Hamas is shooting at Israel. I say revoke the World Cup from Qatar.

  4. mikeevergreen - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Take the 2018 WC and give it to England. Ban from qualifying Russia, Israel, Palestine (they are hardly blameless folks like it or not), and Qatar, and ANY country which executes people for refusing to convert one religion to another.

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