LOI side Bohemian's initiate talks with Palestinian FA for humanitarian friendly

LOI side Bohemian's initiate talks with Palestinian FA for humanitarian friendly

League of Ireland side Bohemian Football Club has claimed they have been in contact with the Palestinian FA regarding hosting a friendly against Palestinian opposition at Dalymount Park. The club has also stated that proceeds from the event will be donated for humanitarian purposes.

Tensions between Palestine and their neighbour Israel have persisted for years, and this issue was brought to light again when attacks by Hamas-led armed groups from Gaza were carried out against Israel in October.

Since then, the conflict has resulted in hundreds of lives being lost. At least 28,858 Palestinians and 1,457 Israelis have been killed in the Israel-Hamas War, with a further 1,900,000 Palestinians displaced within Gaza and 500,000 Israelis displaced.

Bohemians, who are well known for their social cause projects around topics like refugees and homeless people, announced today on their social media that they will be looking to organize a friendly to aid those affected by the conflict in the Middle East.

"We have been in contact with the Palestinian FA for several months in attempts to arrange a friendly at Dalymount Park," said the League of Ireland club.

"Talks are ongoing, facilitated by @IrePalestine, as we try to find a suitable date.

"All proceeds will be used for humanitarian purposes. Our 2023 shirt, in support of @ps4lorg, is still on sale, and last week another payment of over €8,000 was sent to the West Bank.

"These payments are used to support children's right to play football as a tool to try to relieve the huge trauma they are suffering on a daily basis."

The gesture has been praised on their social media accounts, with people saying, "I'm always proud to be Irish, but @bfcdublin demonstrates all that is good about our nation. Maith sibh uilig," while another said, "A fantastic gesture by our great club. The best in Dublin and the country by far!"

Bohemians' kind gesture also comes a day after the FAI said they were looking into hosting a solidarity match between Palestine and a League of Ireland selection or club.

Jonathan Hill, the FAI chief executive, confirmed during the Joint-Oireachtas Public Accounts hearing that there had been discussions around the idea.

“We have had an approach in relation to that," said Hill. "There has been an email interchange, first of all, in terms of the difficulties of that being a possibility at the national team level.

“I think that has been accepted, in relation to very strict international windows, so the conversation has moved to whether it can be a League of Ireland team.

“Discussions are ongoing; there are no dates,” said Hill. “Our League of Ireland department, under director Mark Scanlon, is looking at the logistics.”