Sports Facilities and Infrastructure

A Revival of Establishments

The General Directorate of Establishments at the Higher Council for Youth and Sports (HCYS) took the decision to expand and strengthen sports facilities and establishments through its commitment to excellence, in accordance with the latest international standards and specifications. The decision specified a focus on the aesthetic aspects of the facilities and establishments as well as ensuring that sports facilities be available and adequately maintained in all governorates of Palestine.
The Projects Unit of the HCYS has an important role in the design and supervision of all sports establishments, as well as the review and modification of existing projects in line with international norms. These projects range from training playgrounds to international sports stadiums, sports academies, closed gymnasiums, youth centers, and youth camps, as well as the maintenance of these facilities. The budget for establishing and developing many sports facilities comes from the Palestinian National Authority through the HCYS.

Joseph Blatter Academy.
Joseph Blatter Academy.

Among the main projects implemented by the Projects Unit is one that focuses on installing artificial turf for football stadiums. After the Chinese government made a donation of 118,000 m2 of artificial turf to the HCYS, the Projects Unit requested that a number of local football clubs and local communities work on the infrastructure of their stadiums in order to prepare for the installation of the turf. The HCYS seeks an additional grant to install artificial turf in another 22 stadiums in the various governorates to ensure their sound development.

Other projects

  • Constructing and finishing an additional floor of the Joseph Blatter Academy, with an area of 1,000 m2, including the construction of hostels and their facilities
  • Establishing a closed gymnasium in Jericho funded jointly by FIFA and the HCYS
  • Initiating the establishment of the headquarters of the HCYS, the Commission of the Scout and the Olympic Committee in Al-Ram with funding from the Islamic Development Bank
  • Building the Salfit Closed Sports Hall. In 2017, Major General Jibril Rajoub, President of the HCYS, established the Salfit Sports Hall that can accommodate 1,000 spectators. The hall’s facilities conform to international standards. The first stage was established with funding from the HCYS, and the second stage was completed with funding from local government.
  • Inaugurating the Higher Council of the Diaspora in Lebanon. In 2017, in a bid to foster ties among Palestinians all over the world, Major General Jibril Rajoub, President of the HCYS, inaugurated the headquarters in order to activate the sectors of both youth and sports.
  • Carrying out maintenance work at Shahid Salah Center in Al-Far’a Refugee Camp. The amount allocated was about NIS 2,100,000 that went to complete the work at Salah Khalaf Center, which included the maintenance of existing hostels and adding new ones. The exterior works involved fixing the roof to ensure the continued operation of this important historical center. The Shahid Salah Center will soon witness the construction of a semi-Olympic indoor swimming pool with fitness facilities, sauna, jacuzzi, and physiotherapy at a cost of approximately US$ 500,000.
  • Maintaining the players and referees’ rooms of Al-Shahid Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium
  • Maintaining gymnasiums: with a grant from the Palestinian Telecommunications Company (Jawwal), the HCYS sponsored the maintenance of several gymnasiums, such as the Majed Asaad Hall in Ramallah and the Salah Al Khalaf Hall in Al Fara’a. In Bethlehem, whitewashing and maintenance of several facilities were conducted at a cost of US$ 17,000 per gymnasium.
  • Building the Palestinian Football Association headquarters in Al-Ram. The premise consists of five floors and includes meeting rooms, employee offices, lecture rooms, a conference hall, a dining room, and an office for the president of the Palestinian Football Association. It also includes the Palestinian Sports Museum. The completion value of the work amounted to approximately US$ $1,400,000.
  • Building a restaurant and a well in Al-Amal Youth Sports City in Jericho. In order to generate income, a restaurant was built in accordance with high technical specifications in addition to a 100-meter well used for irrigation and agriculture.
  • Installing lighting works at Al-Shahid Abu Ammar Stadium in Jenin, Yatta International Stadium, and at the Qalqilya Municipal Stadium. By the end of 2018, the lighting projects of Jenin, Yatta, and Qalqilya stadiums were under way in accordance with the international standards approved by the International Football Federation (FIFA), with a value of approximately US$ 300,000 per project.
A renovated stadium in Sinjil, a Palestinian town northeast of Ramallah.
A renovated stadium in Sinjil, a Palestinian town northeast of Ramallah.
Installing artificial turf in the Jenin stadium.
Installing artificial turf in the Jenin stadium.
A stadium in Turmos Ayya.
A stadium in Turmos Ayya.
Qalqilia Stadium.
Qalqilia Stadium.
Another stadium in Al-Mazra’a ash-Sharqiya, a Palestinian town located northeast of Ramallah.
Another stadium in Al-Mazra’a ash-Sharqiya, a Palestinian town located northeast of Ramallah.

FIFA Contributions

  • The establishment of ten football training stadiums in the West Bank, in Abu Dis, Bayt Wazili, Dura Al-Qur’a, Al-Mazra’a Al-Sharqiya, Qalqilya, Salfit, Samoua, Turmos Ayya, Wadi al-Nays, and Atil, where the local authorities have prepared the infrastructure for these playgrounds from the base course and the drainage of water, fences, nets, and side pavements.
  • Installation of artificial turf for 20 playgrounds in the governorates of the Gaza Strip: Rafah (four playgrounds), Khan Yunis (four playgrounds), central provinces, Nusayrat, Deir al-Balah (four playgrounds), Gaza Governorate (four playgrounds); North Gaza Governorate (four playgrounds).
    Again, and in order that the local communities participate in building and developing their sports facilities, they built the infrastructure for these playgrounds, including the base course, drainage, fences, nets, and side pavements.
Salfit closed sports hall.
Salfit closed sports hall.
Beit Wazan Stadium.
Beit Wazan Stadium.
Stadium of Al-Amal Youth Sports City in Jericho.
Stadium of Al-Amal Youth
Sports City in Jericho.
Abu Ammar Sports Hall in Bethlehem.
Abu Ammar Sports Hall in Bethlehem.
Stadium in Sammu’, Hebron.
Stadium in Sammu’, Hebron.

The main challenges that face the establishment of sports facilities in Palestine are restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation on establishing and developing sports facilities mainly in the Jerusalem Governorate and in Area C, and the current state of the economy, which affects all aspects of life. Despite these constraints, the HCYS is working hard to complete the development and establishment of the facilities.
Finally, the General Administration of Establishments seeks to develop sports facilities in all governorates of the country, based on the directives of the HCYS leadership, and to make maximum use of sports facilities and establishments, including sports stadiums, international stadiums, and gymnasiums, in addition to youth centers.

Rasha Abu Amer is Director of the Projects Unit at the Higher Council for Youth and Sports.