AL-RAM, West Bank (AP) – Palestinians' hopes of a place in the World Cup were dashed when their team tied 2-2 with Thailand, who advanced to the third round of Asian qualifiers with a 3-2 aggregate victory.
The World Cup qualifying campaign had become a symbol of nation building for the Palestinians.
The team was a longshot to make it all the way to the finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But the Palestinians hosted their first World Cup qualifier and defeated Afghanistan in the first round.
Palestine is the only one of FIFA's 208 members that's not a recognized state by the United Nations. Its athletes often need Israeli permits to travel.