During this World Cup in Qatar, the first in an Arab country, the Palestinian cause was honoured through its flag, which was omnipresent in the stands and in scenes of fan jubilation, reported L’Équipe on Sunday 18 December. During the group match between France and Tunisia, a supporter managed to run onto the pitch with the Palestinian flag, to the cheers of the crowd chanting “Palestine”, recalled another daily Le Monde.
According to Le Monde, the infatuation for the Palestinian cause is fed by an Arab sensibility that transcends the state framework. This is why the Palestinian flag was so visible during the competition.
Palestine, a member of FIFA since 1998 but not of the UN, was ironically renamed “the 33rd qualified country”, reported L’Équipe. “The real winner of the World Cup on social networks is Palestine,” according to the left-wing Israeli daily Haaretz.
The Palestinian cause even eclipsed Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky’s request to share his message which he had planned to broadcast before Argentina faced France on Sunday and which FIFA had rejected.
FIFA refused Ukraine’s proposal to show a video message from Zelensky in Qatar’s Lusail Stadium ahead of the World Cup final on Sunday.