War games: Qatar and Saudi in shoot out to top group

By Paul Nicholson in Abu Dhabi

January 17 –Last night Iran and Iraq treated us to a fractious encounter. Two proud nations who have a political history of conflict delivered an at times niggly if not quite full-on encounter. Tonight the Asian Cup delivers War GamesII – Qatar vs Saudi Arabia, the blockbuster game to end the group stages.

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The Palestinian condition: team waits in ‘hope’ that results will go their way

By Paul Nicholson and Samindra Kunti in Abu Dhabi

January 16 – Palestine’s football team is unavoidably and inextricably linked with their national struggle, frankly, the Israelis have made it so. With their border blockades of players, equipment and even visiting national teams, the Israelis have few friends in Asian football, and probably wouldn’t even be part of the football world if FIFA president Gianni Infantino hadn’t controversially saved them from a vote to exclude them last Congress.

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