The youth team players celebrate qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Cup (Photo: Israel Football Association)
The youth team's historic journey at the FIFA U-20 World Championship continues to make waves in Arab society, where the success is attributed mainly to Anan Khalili, Hamza Shibli and Ahmed Salman – the three representatives of the Arab sector in the Israeli squad, or as they wrote about them on Monday on the Fant website: "The Arab trio that shines and excels in the tournament."
The Arab media insists on involving the sporting achievement in the political aspect as well, as they did yesterday, when the UAE wrote, among other things, that Arab players "carry Israel on their backs," while MK Ahmad Tibi insisted: "From time to time, the non-Arab players also score."
The same wavelength is broadcast on Fant, where they described it yesterday: "An unprecedented achievement for three young Arab footballers, along with other players."
Gives the credit to the Arab players. Samir Issa in um al-Fahm (Photo: official website, Hapoel um al-Fahm)
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One person who spoke extensively about Salman, Halaili, and Shibli, after the latter two each scored a goal in the huge 2-3 victory over Brazil, is Palestine national team coach Samir Issa, who was interviewed by Hala TV and said: "The main part of the great sensation belongs to the Arab players in the Israeli team. I raised Halaili, I trained Shibli and I know him intimately. Salman would have scored on a penalty had it not been for the sophistication of the Brazilian goalkeeper, and would have completed three goals for the three Arab players. I think they have a big part to play in qualifying for the semi-finals."
Issa added: "Anan Khalili's father, Majdi who was my goalkeeper at Hapoel um Al-Fahm, wanted his son to be a goalkeeper. I surprised him and told him that he would be one of the best strikers in the country. Shibli also has a great sense of scoring goals. All three are excellent at the World Cup, they are the future of football in the Arab sector."
- Israeli football
- Israeli national teams
- Anan Halailly
- Ahmad Salman
- FIFA U-20 World Championship
- Hamza Shibli