AL-RAM, West Bank (AP) – Palestinians' hopes of a World Cup place were dashed on Thursday when their team could only draw 2-2 with Thailand, who made it through to the third round of Asian qualifiers with a 3-2 aggregate victory.
For the Palestinians, the World Cup qualifying campaign has become a symbol of nation building.
The team was always a long shot to make it all the way to the finals in Brazil in 2014. But a victory over Afghanistan in the first round and their first-ever hosting of a World Cup qualifier had locals dreaming.
Palestine is the only one of FIFA's 208 members which is not a U.N. recognized state.
Its athletes often need Israeli permits to travel.