The Palestine Amputee Football Association squad is currently training, in preparation for the Football League Championship that will take place in Gaza soon.
The Palestine Chronicle met with Fouad Ibrahim Abu Ghalioun, president and founder of the association, who said that amputee football “has gained an international status and has made to international sports federations such as the Asian and Arab Confederations.”
“Amputee football players in Palestine have lost their limbs for a variety of unfortunate reasons: some of them had a congenital defect or a disease that they could not treat, others had a car accident,” Abu Ghalioun said.“Most of them, however, lost their limbs to the Israeli occupation”, he added.
The squad “welcomes all amputated players, without discrimination or bias,” according to Abu Ghalioun. “Our goal is to develop their skills and help them achieve their dream of playing at a local and international level.”
One of the players is Abdullah Abu Mukhaimer. He is part of the Qalaat al-Janoub (The Castle of the South) team and is one of the winners of the Gaza Strip Amputee Football Championship.
“Since I was a child, playing football and winning titles and trophies has been my dream. Now, I can finally make my dreams come true”, Abu Mukhaimer told The Palestine Chronicle.
According to the United Nations, around 8,000 Palestinians were injured by Israeli army fire during the Great March of Return, a series of demonstrations held each Friday at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel, from March 2018 to March 2020. Among them, there were several athletes and football players.
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)