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Mandatory Palestine national football team

The Mandatory Palestine national football team (Hebrew: נבחרת ארץ ישראל בכדורגל, Nivheret Eretz Yisrael Bekhadurgel, lit. Land of Israel national football team), also known as the Eretz Israel national football team, represented the British Mandate of Palestine in international football competitions[1] and was managed by the Eretz Israel Football Association (התאחדות ארץ ישראלית למשחק כדור-רגל, Hitachduth Eretz Yisraelit Lekhadur Regel, lit. "The Land of Israel Association of Football").[A]

Mandatory Palestine
Eretz Israel
Nickname(s)Eretz Israel
(Land of Israel)
AssociationEretz Israel Football Association (PFA)
Head coachShimon Ratner (1934 WCQ)
Egon Pollak (1938 WCQ)
Arthur Baar (1940 Friendly)
CaptainAvraham Reznik (1934–1938)
Pinhas Fiedler (1934)
Gdalyahu Fuchs (1938)
Most capsGdalyahu Fuchs (4)
Top scorerWerner Caspi (2)
Home stadiumHapoel Ground, Tel Aviv
Maccabiah Stadium, Tel Aviv
Maccabi Ground, Tel Aviv
Elo ranking
Highest60 (March 1934)
Lowest71 (April 1940)
First international
Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel):
 Egypt 7–1 Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
Last international
Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel):
Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine 5–1 Greater Lebanon
(Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine; 27 April 1940)
Biggest win
Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel):
Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine 5–1 Greater Lebanon
(Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine; 27 April 1940)
Biggest defeat
Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel):
 Egypt 7–1 Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)

The team used to play in the Maccabiah Stadium and Hapoel Ground, both are located in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Mandatory Palestine during its tour in Egypt in 1931.

Football was introduced to Palestine by the British military during its occupation of the territory in World War I. After the war, the sport's development was continued by "European Jews who had been exposed to soccer in their native countries".[2] Palestinian Arabs, specifically those of Islamic beliefs, refrained from participating in football's early formation due to their resistance to "Western cultural institutions".[3]

The Eretz Israel Football Association was founded in August 1928 and applied for membership in FIFA. It was accepted to FIFA on 6 June 1929 as the Eretz Israel Football Association.[4][5] It was the first of 14 sports organizations which absorbed hundreds of leading sportsmen who immigrated in the wake of antisemitism in Europe.[6]

Mandatory Palestine end up playing five international games before the end of the British Mandate in 1948 which resulted in Israel independence. During those five games, the national team fielded only Jewish players. Three anthems were played before each match: the British "God Save the King", the Jewish (and future Israeli) "Hatikvah" and the opposing team's anthem.[7]

In 1948 the team became, officially, the national team of Israel.

FIFA World Cup recordEdit

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Did not enter
  1934 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 2 11
  1938 2 0 0 2 1 4
Total Qualifiers N/A N/A 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 4 3 15

1934 World Cup QualificationEdit

Egypt qualified.

1938 World Cup QualificationEdit

Greece qualified for the final round.


1934 and 1938 FIFA World Cup qualificationEdit

16/3/1934 and 6/4/1934[8]
Coach:     Egon Pollak,     Shimon Ratner

Player Position
  Willy Berger GK
  Avraham Reznik DF
  Pinhas Fiedler DF
  Zalman Friedmann MF
  Gdalyahu Fuchs MF
  Yohanan Sukenik MF
  Amnon Harlap FW
  Perry Kraus -
  Paul Kastenbaum -
  Haim Reich -
  Avraham Nudelman FW
  David Weinberg -
  Yaacov Levi-Meir -
  Yaacov Zelibanski -

22/1/1938 and 20/02/1938[8]
Coach:     Egon Pollak

Player Position
  Julius Klein GK
  Israel Elsner GK
  Avraham Beit-Halevi DF
  Avraham Reznik DF
  Yosef Liebermann MF
  Yohanan Sukenik MF
  Menahem Mirmovich MF
  Gdalyahu Fuchs MF
  Shmuel (Mila) Ginzburg FW
  Shuka Brashedski FW
  Perry Neufeld FW
  Gaul Machlis FW
  Avraham Nudelman FW
  Yona Stern FW
  Jerry Beit-Halevi FW
  Nathan Pentz FW

Last squadEdit

Coach:     Arthur Baar

  Binyamin Mizrahi
  Yaacov Breir
  Shalom Shalomzon
  Zalman Friedmann
  Zvi Fuchs
  Lonia Dvorin
  Haim Reich
  Herbert Meitner
  Zvi Erlich
  Werner Caspi
  Avraham Schneiderowitz
  Gaul Machlis


Friendly matchesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ According to the Israel Football Association, the name of the association was "Eretz Israel Football Association".[2]


  1. ^ Cazal, Jean-Michel; Bleicher, Yaniv. "British Mandate of Palestine Official Games 1934–1948". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Henshaw 1979, p. 387.
  3. ^ Henshaw 1979, p. 386.
  4. ^ Foundation and Affiliation year in Association Information of Israel at FIFA official website
  5. ^ Foundation and FIFA affiliation years on association information of Israel at UEFA website
  6. ^ Griver, Simon (June 1999). "Sports in Israel". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  7. ^ Mubarak, Hassanin. "Palestine – International Results – Details". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b British Mandate of Palestine Official Games 1934-1948