Palestinians Inaugurate First West Bank International Soccer Stadium

Ex-Barcelona and Juventus defender Thuram participates in the inauguration on his first ever visit to the West Bank, kicking off a Palestinian First Division Championship match,

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RAMALLAH - The first international soccer stadium in the West Bank was inaugurated yesterday, with French international star Lilian Thuram making the first kick.

The French- and German-funded stadium in al-Birah, a suburb of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, has 9,000 seats and cost more than 1.1 million euros, said a statement.

Former French soccer star Lilian Thuram, left, watches as Palestinian Football Association chairman Jibril Rajoub kicks the ball during the inauguration of the new stadium Thursday.Credit: AFP

Ex-Barcelona and Juventus defender Thuram - who was on the French national team when it won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 - participated in the inauguration on his first ever visit to the West Bank.

He kicked off a Palestinian First Division Championship match, between the local clubs of al-Birah and Wadi Elnees.

The stadium grass was installed last year with financial support of world soccer body FIFA.

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