World Cup trophy visits Palestinian territories

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Thousands of Palestinian football fans took photographs with the World Cup trophy Monday as it tours the globe ahead of this summer’s tournament in Russia.

More than 10,000 people queued to see the trophy during three days it was displayed near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, organisers said.

It is the second time the World Cup has been displayed in the Palestinian territories and comes as part of a wider tour of the trophy ahead of the World Cup.

The cup left Monday afternoon for Jordan before it goes to Dubai later in the week. It visited Israel last week.

Hamza Samara brought his sons for a photo with the cup shortly before it left.

“I have seen the World Cup on television but to see it in real life and take a picture with it is something else,” he said.

“It is something beautiful that changes the atmosphere and takes my sons away from the circumstances we live under.”

As elsewhere in the Arab world, football is hugely popular among Palestinians.

The Palestinian football association has fought a long battle at FIFA over football played in Israeli settlements, which is argues is illegal under international law.

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