Historic day for Palestine

Superlatives are often misused these days but there is little question that this weekend's meeting between Palestine and Jordan is an historic one. FIFA.com explains why.

Why is it an historic occasion?
This is Palestine's first international match at home since receiving FIFA recognition ten years ago. Up to now the Palestinians have had to play their "home" games in Jordan or Qatar as they did not have a stadium that met international standards.

What work has been carried out at the Al-Husseini stadium in Ramallah?
A latest-generation international-standard artificial pitch has been laid at the stadium, while the west stand has been expanded and a new east stand has been built from scratch. In addition, facilities such as access roads and drainage systems have been upgraded.

What other work is going on at the site?
New offices for the Palestinian FA are being built under the west stand, while the main stand will house a training centre comprising dormitories and classrooms etc. The objective of the centre is to provide the FA with everything it needs to help Palestine's national teams with their preparations for matches and tournaments and to host coaching and refereeing courses etc.

How much will the redevelopment cost and who is paying for it?
FIFA will contribute around $800,000 to the installation of the artificial pitch, while France has donated approximately €500,000, the King of Saudi Arabia $1m, the Olympic Council of Asia $250,000, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, €1m. The rest of the cost is being met by the Palestinian FA.

Who will unveil the new pitch?
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter will officially unveil the new stadium before Sunday's match, and accompanying him will be Mohammed Bin Hammam, the President of the Asian Football Confederation. A number of leading figures from the Arab world will also be in the stands.