Palestine will host Saudi Arabia in 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers in Al-Ram next month after FIFA approved security guarantees from the Palestinian authorities.
Previously, Saudi Arabia had declined to play the initial fixture on October 13 following their refusal to travel to the West Bank, insisted that they couldn’t Israeli-controlled borders.
Saudi Arabia is among a few dozen Arab and Muslim countries that don’t recognise Israel as a state and they suggested the match be played in neighbouring Jordan instead, which the Palestinian FA (PFA) flatly rejected.
However, has now given the fixture the go-ahead for November 5 after its organising committee for the World Cup qualifying competition held talks with PFA chief Jibril Rajoub and his Saudi counterpart Ahmed Eid Al Harbi.
“The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) has given full security guarantees for the rescheduled match,” said FIFA in a statement.
“FIFA has agreed to appoint a security officer who will work hand in hand with the Palestine authorities to supervise the security plan and make sure that the match is played in very good conditions.”
Saudi Arabia top group A with four wins from four in their second round of World Cup qualifying campaign, while Palestine sit third with five points.