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A team now legendary, a Palestinian club 13,000 km from their homeland. Palestino represents the hopes of Arab immigrants in the new world, an incredible dream.
At the end of the 19th century, many Arabs fled their lands to the New World. A story often forgotten but which has had a huge impact in countries such as Chile and Cuba. In the first in particular there was a huge wave of Palestinian migration, forming the largest community ever outside the Arab world. It is no coincidence that the Palestinian national team has 4 players from these places.
In Chile these people have also achieved their own political weight, making Palestino, really, much more than a club. Suffice it to say that Yasser Arafat himself in 2003 wrote a letter in support of the Chilean club.
In fact, at the time the club had serious economic problems and precisely following the support of the Palestinian leader, the club began to have an increasingly international dimension. Suffice it to say that since 2009 it has been sponsored by the Bank of Palestine and is also the only Chilean team to be broadcast from the Arab world thanks to Al Jazeera. The growing support has pushed the club to stand as a true symbol of its people in the world, but it is in 2014 that Palestino fulfills the act that will consecrate it to history.
A historic jersey
On 4 January 2014, the team takes the field with a different jersey that will cause controversy from all over the world, but giving the club its definitive dimension. In fact, the shirt replaces the classic number “1” with the image of Palestine, an unparalleled position in world football.
It will immediately be subject to criticism and will be withdrawn from the market, but the gesture will have an intercontinental echo, so much so as to bring Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Chile. Since then the club has launched many campaigns aimed at uniting the 2 countries, but one impressed me more than others. It’s called “Our field, our land” and it intends to form the team’s new field with soil from every corner of Palestine, a way to bring your home to the other side of the world.
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