- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - The Palestinian Football Federation says its 2018 World Cup qualifier with Saudi Arabia will be played away from home due to “exceptional circumstances.”

A statement from the federation on Sunday did not elaborate further why the AFC Group A game that was supposed to take place in Palestinian territory next week will be held in Saudi Arabia instead.

The change in venue comes after the Palestinians withdrew at the last moment their bid to have Israel suspended from world football last month.

They had wanted Israel suspended from FIFA because they said its security restrictions hinder the movement of Palestinian players, visiting teams and equipment.

Israel has cited security concerns, especially regarding movement in and out of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The Palestinian team plays Saudi Arabia on June 11.

Malaysia, Timor-Leste and the United Arab Emirates are also in Group A.

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