Although football in Palestine
has been badly affected by the political turmoil in the region, the association tries to keep league activities and matches going according to plan. The West Bank and Gaza each has a league of ten teams, with the two winners competing for the Palestine
championship. The huge crowd following and the scores of children playing in the streets bear testimony to the popularity of football, which helps the locals to forget their daily woes. The young association's greatest success so far has been its qualification for the second round of the Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004. Ismail Al-Masry, the best and most famous player in the region, was appointed manager of the Palestinian national team.