New Delhi:The All India Football Federation on Monday dropped Palestine from the August 19-31 Nehru Cup international football tournament which will now be a five team event.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the AIFF, the tournament sponsors ONGC and Delhi Soccer Association officials, after Palestine said they would send a 'B' side instead of their national 'A' squad.
The tournament, to be held at Ambedkar Stadium here, will now a round-robin format among five teams - Syria, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, besides India.
"Palestine has been removed from Nehru Cup and the draw of the round-robin format will be announced tomorrow," an official who took part in the meeting said.
Earlier in the day, Palestine made it clear that they cannot send their 'A' team for the Nehru Cup and said they would withdraw from the event if the organisers have problem with their 'B' squad.
"It is impossible to send our national 'A' team as all the players are holidaying. They will return only at the end of this month before our national league begins early next month. If the Indian federation insists on our national 'A' side, we will have to cancel our participation in the tournament," Palestine Football Association General Secretary Sami Hussein Makkawi said over phone.
"The National 'B' side will have players from clubs of Jerusalem Metropolitan area," he added.