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Heba Saadia: First Palestinian referee at FIFA Women’s World Cup

World football authority FIFA has chosen, for the first time, a female Palestinian referee to officiate at the upcoming Women’s World Cup matches.

The official Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) reported that Heba Saadia will make the calls at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, 2023.

The ninth Women’s World Cup, which will be held by Australia and New Zealand, is the first to be co-organised by two nations and the first to include 32 countries.

READ MORE: The world’s most famous footballers express solidarity with Palestinians

Football in Palestine

For many years, Israeli forces restricted sports activities in Palestine by damaging sports facilities, denying travel permits to football players from Gaza to cross through Israel into the occupied West Bank to play in the local championships, and killing football players. 

Last week, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on FIFA to condemn the Israeli killing of Ahmad Atef Mustafa Daraghma, a Palestinian football player, who died from very serious wounds resulting from Israeli army gunfire.

Shtayyeh strongly slammed the attack that resulted in the killing of Daraghma, a football player with the Thaqafi Football Team of Tulkarm, who was hit by live rounds in the back and feet as confrontations erupted when a sizable Israeli army force swept into the eastern part of Nablus to provide protection for Israeli settlers who stormed Joseph’s Tomb.

The prime minister called on international rights organisations to take responsibility to hold the Israeli occupation accountable for its crimes to stop the aggression. 

Palestinian football player killed by Israeli army in West Bank

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