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Palestinian football team to tour Pakistan (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) LAHORE, Pakistan 01/03/11 9:35 am ET)Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110103/wl_mideast_afp/fblpakpal_20110103143524;_ylt=AimPjWFiwLsFQU0iu9qTNLSaOrgF;_ylu=X3oDMTJobHRxamN1BGFzc2V0A2FmcC8yMDExMDEwMy9mYmxwYWtwYWwEcG9zAzI1BHNlYwN5bl9wYWdpbmF0ZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA3BhbGVzdGluaWFuZg-- AFP} Agence France Presse AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) – The Palestinian national football side is to tour Pakistan next month, an official said, as the hosts ramp up efforts to bring back international sport to a country plagued by terrorism.

"Palestine´s national football team is due to tour Pakistan and will play a two-match series and this series will help us revive international sport," Pakistan Football Federation president Faisal Salah Hayat told reporters.

International teams have refused to tour Pakistan since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore nearly two years ago, killing eight people and wounding seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach.

Pakistan has been forced to play its cricket series on neutral venues including England and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Hayat said the Palestinian team will play in the eastern city of Lahore on February 27 and Karachi on March 2.

"After the two-match series, Pakistan will tour Palestine in March where another two-match series will be played," said Hayat.

Hayat told reporters on Sunday that Iran, Malaysia, Oman, South Korea and the UAE had also agreed to play Pakistan.

"Hopefully Malaysia will tour Pakistan in March this year and we have a planned tour of South Korea in August-September this year and these series will help us prepare for 2014 World Cup qualifying rounds," said Hayat.

Pakistan, ranked 171 in FIFA (International Football Federation) rankings, has never qualified for World Cup main rounds.

Washington has called Pakistan´s northwest tribal belt on the Afghan border the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda, and bomb attacks across the country have killed around 4,000 since July 2007. (Copyright © 2011 Agence France Presse. 01/03/11)

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