The Asian Cup 2019 started Saturday and the Palestine national team hopes to be the surprise of the tournament.
The Football AFC Asian Cup 2019, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, kicked off on Saturday with 24 teams competing in the group phase, the largest staging of the tournament.
Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain and Sharjah will host all 36 matches of this phase, from January 5 to 17.
This is the second time Palestine has taken part in the Asian Cup, this time with the support of four players born in Chile: Alexis Norambuena, Yashir Islame Pinto, Jonathan Cantillana and Pablo Tamburrini. Daniel Mustafa, born in Argentina, also joins the team.
Around six million Palestinians live outside of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, where the other 5 million live.
"Represent the Palestinians and give them much joy, so that people can enjoy a little," said Alexis Norambuena, 34-year-old defender, born in Santiago.
"Football is a means to give people joy, to represent them in this cup, which is important for the country."
Palestine, coached by Argelian Nourredine Ould Ali, will play Syria, Jordan and Australia in the group phase.
According to Palestinian officials, calling on players with dual nationality is a way to evade the restrictions imposed by Israel on Palestinians' freedom of movement.
"The team represents a country at a time when we still live under an occupation," player Sameh Sheikha told AFP.