AMMAN: Jordanian football club Al-Faisaly have reversed their decision to withdraw from the Al-Quds and Al-Karameh tournament in Palestine after trouble had marred their derby match against fierce rivals Al-Wehdat.
Monday’s opening match of the friendly competition — which was organized by the Palestinian Football Federation — was in the final moments of a 1-1 draw when an aggressive challenge by an Al-Faisaly player on Mohammed Kahlan from Al-Wehdat led to a scuffle between members of the two teams.
Tension on the pitch spread to fans in the stands and this resulted in Al-Faisaly’s board of directors taking the decision to leave the competition and return to Amman.
Jordan’s Al-Ghad newspaper reported Al-Faisaly’s official statement as saying: “Following the unfortunate events that were witnessed at the Al-Faisaly match in the Al-Quds and Al-Karameh tournament, which was held in the sisterly state of Palestine yesterday, the board of directors of Al-Faisaly Club held today, Tuesday, a meeting at the club’s headquarters headed by the Chairman of the Board, Eng. Nidal Al-Hadid.
“The board says that the unfortunate events that occurred… resulted in tension inside the stadium, during which the club’s delegation was attacked.
“In order to preserve national unity, which is our top priority, and for the relations that bind us with the Palestinian brothers, we overlook the offense, and we reiterate that it will not undermine our national unity.
“Based on the unfortunate events that took place as a result of the poor organization during the Al-Quds and Al-Karameh match, and in order to ensure the safety of the club’s delegation, the board of directors has decided to confirm the return of the team to the capital, Amman, as soon as possible.”
Head of the Palestinian Football Federation Jibril Rajoub apologized to Al-Faisaly following the club’s statement and it appears that the Jordanian side are now prepared to abandon their plans to return home.