The new year did not start with joy and hope for the staff, fans, and community of the Sur Baher club, located in east Jerusalem, close to Abu Dis For, just before 2021 ended, on the 27th of December, The Israeli occupation authorities handed the club the 4th notification for that past year, informing them that their facilities will be demolished for lack of “proper building license”, which is the term used for almost every other demolition in the densely populated Palestinian town.
Two years ago, the Club administration had made the legal paperwork to have their 8 dunums (8000 Sq meters) of Waqf land registered with the Islamic Awqaf, in the hope this will put an end to the repeated Israeli attempts to seize the land. This registration allowed the club to renovate the facilities, and install artificial turf for their home pitch.
The club, which was established as far back as 1978, serves a community of over 25,000 people, providing youth with a chance to play football while also providing social, health, and cultural services to the community. It has a scouts division and is run by a general assembly of 636 people who elect its board. Its football team reached the 1st division of the West Bank League in 1996 and won 2nd place in the Palestine Cup back in 1999.
It is imperative that this initiative is stopped by our international football authorities. FIFA has had influence in the past and should now take action to support Palestinian sport.