Qualification history
Palestine participated in the qualifying campaign for the second-ever FIFA World Cup™, staged in Italy in 1934. They were promptly defeated heavily by Egypt, who became the first African team to play at the illustrious tournament. The Knights then endured a six-decade wait before being granted the right to take part in Asian qualifying for Korea/Japan 2002. More recently, their Brazil 2014 campaign came to an end at the hands of Thailand, who emerged victorious from a tight second-round encounter.

The team
Palestine’s recent form has been relatively promising, with their AFC Challenge Cup success in 2014 sealing a place at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia. In spite of their lofty ambitions, however, the team was eliminated from Group D after losing to Japan, Jordan and Iraq.

The coach
Ahmed Al-Hassan coached Palestine at the 2015 Asian Cup, but was replaced in April by Abdel Nasser Barakat. Formerly in charge of the nation’s U-23 team, the youthful Palestinian will be looking to make his mark on the senior side in the upcoming qualification matches for Russia 2018.

The stat
6 –
This is the sixth time that the Palestinians have taken part in the Asian qualifying process. They have never reached the final round.

The former players
Saeb Jendeya, Ziyad Al Kord, Mohammed Al Swairky, Khaldoun Fahed, Jamal Al-Houli