Turkey to build Erdoğan Stadium in Gaza
GAZA – Anadolu Agency
Palestinian bride holds a poster of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a mass wedding for 2000 couples in Gaza City May 31, 2015. Reuters PhotoTurkey is set to build a 20,000-seat stadium to international standards in the Gaza Strip to support sports in Palestine, officials revealed on July 14.
A member of the Higher Council of Youth and Sports in the Gaza Strip, Abd al-Salam Haniyeh, said the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) would build the stadium.
“The approval for the stadium’s construction by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is one of the best contributions Turkey has provided to Palestinian sports,” he said.
Haniyeh added the stadium would be named Erdoğan Stadium.
Earlier on July 12, TİKA organized an iftar for 700 Palestinian athletes and donated $225,000 to Palestinian sports institutes, Haniyeh said.
According to data provided by the Palestinian Sports Ministry, a total of 30 sports facilities were destroyed and 32 athletes were killed in the Israeli offensive in Gaza last summer.
Over 2,160 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured in the onslaught – mostly civilians – while hundreds of homes and broad swathes of infrastructure were reduced to rubble across the territory, according to the United Nations.
At least 73 Israelis – 68 soldiers and five civilians – were also killed during the 51-day conflict.
Palestine and Israel are at odds in football, with the Israel Football Association (IFA) narrowly pre-empting the adoption of a resolution by the Palestine Football Association (PFA) last month that called for the suspension of Israel’s membership in world football body FIFA in part because of racism in Israeli football. The PFA has withdrawn its demand in favor of the establishment of a FIFA committee to monitor Israeli efforts to address Palestinian grievances.