Palestino Soccer Club

Minnesota has the Vikings. Notre Dame has the Fighting Irish.

Santiago, Chile has CD Palestino (Club Deportivo Palestino/Palestinan Sports Club), a major leaque soccer team founded in 1920.


Yep! 1920!

Even back in 1920, they thought of themselves as Palestinians, which puts to death a myth that that Palestinians invented themselves in 1964. They thought so much of themselves as Palestinians that the immigrants, and sons of immigrants, formed a soccer club in 1920 called the Palestinos (Palestinians).

A look at the video will show many fans to be of fair-skinned European and mestizo (part-Indian) stock. Though started by Palestinians, the team has a mainstream multi-ethnic fan base now.

However, the Palestino fans are highly politicized now; and fans – not all of whom are Arab – will wave the Palestinian flag. Notice also the black, red, green, and white flares the fans shoot up.

Clearly, these fans are Christians. No burqas or hijabs are to be seen, though stylish Keffiyiahs are worn as a sign of ethnic solidarity. One fan’s jersey (6:12) even displays an ad for CRISTAL, a famous champagne – a definite no no in Islam, as Islam forbids alcohol.

So this team does NOT operate under Sharia law.

Most of the fans probably do not even speak Arabic and are generations removed from the Mideast. However, they still have a strong ethnic identification.

You will notice that the fans refer to themselves as Los Baisanos (0:38) and (4:36), which is a play on the Spanish word Paisanos, which means [fellow] countrymen. However, their Arab ancestors could not pronounce the P, which does not exist in Arabic, and would have mispronounced it as Baisanos. Generations later, they honor their ancestors by calling themselves Los Baisanos, and taking pride in their ancestors mispronunciation.

Notice also (0:38) the map of Palestine in their sign. Apparently, they do not recognize Israel.

This team has won national championships in Chile in 1955 and 1978. It even has its own cable program.

This next video is a list of their teams from 1952 onwards:

Palestinian Sports Club
Notice that their fight song is in Spanish.

I cannot vouch for how politicized they were decades ago. But they always wore the red, green, white, and black of the battle flag of the Arab Revolt in World War I, which is the source of the Palestinian flag.

Roberto Bishara, a team member and son of a Palestinian immigrant, has played on the National Palestinian Soccer Team as an exchange player.
Roberto Bishara: Soccer is more powerful than bullets (In Spanish)