Palestinians ready to host 1st ever World Cup qualifier

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) Palestinians are preparing to host their first ever World Cup qualifier on Tuesday when their team takes on the United Arab Emirates in the first in a series of high-profile matches in the West Bank.

Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestine Football Association, described the match in Group A of the Asian Zone qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup as ''historic.''

Rajoub said other home matches would be played in the weeks ahead.

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Upcoming fixtures include home World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia in October and Malaysia in November.

Earlier this year, the Palestinians called on FIFA to expel Israel from the qualifying tournament, saying restrictions on player movement were hurting the sport. Israel said the restrictions are security measures.

The Palestinians withdrew their petition at the last moment.