Defending champions Japan thrashed Palestinian national soccer team 4-0 in their Asian Cup opener Monday, but for Palestine -- a team recognized by FIFA, soccer's global governing body, since 1998 but not yet as a fully fledged country by the United Nations -- their appearance meant more than any progress on the pitch.
The Asian Cup holders Japan enjoyed a stroll in the Newcastle breeze as they swatted aside proud debutants Palestine to kick off their title defense with a comprehensive victory.
Yasuhito Endo, Shinji Okazaki, Keisuke Honda scored first-half goals with Maya Yoshida adding another after the break in a contest that was predictably one-sided for the record four-times champions.
Palestine, who qualified to play in the Asian Cup for the first time despite the restrictions placed on them, received a harsh lesson about the standards needed to trouble the very elite in the continent.
The midfielder Endo set Japan on their way with an eighth-minute fizzing long-range drive after being allowed far too much room to stroll towards the Palestinian area.
Ever since the Palestinian Football Association was recognized by FIFA -- one of the first and only truly global organizations to recognize an entity called Palestine -- soccer had reflected the shifting political situation around it: Occupation, allegations of terrorist links, arbitrary arrest, death, bombings, allegations of torture, hunger strikes, movement restrictions, exile, internecine warfare and failure.
It was a good game for Japan who had an easy win, I hope the Palestine soccer team learns a lessons and fixes whatever is needed--there were lots of hopes.
أهداف مباراة اليابان وفلسطين 4-0 تعليق رؤوف خليف - كأس آسيا 2015
Palestine soccer delegation in the FIFA Conference | Culture