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Palestine international Omar Jarun becomes Bharat FC’s fourth foreign player

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Bharat FC have completed their quota of foreign players, having signed Palestinian international, Omar Jarun, on an 18-month long deal. The 31-year-old Jarun joins Bharat FC from Canadian side Ottawa Fury which plays in the North American Soccer League. Jarun, a full international for Palestine, also fulfills the Asian player criteria as per All India Football Federation’s regulations with regard to foreign players in the I-League.

Bharat FC are currently placed eighth in the 11-team Hero I-League. The Lions are preparing to face Royal Wahingdoh FC in Shillong on the 21st of March before travelling to Goa to face Dempo SC at Fatorda on the 27th of March.

Jarun, born to an American mother and father of Palestinian descent in Kuwait, emigrated to the United States of America when he was seven. Having started his professional career with American side Fort Wayne Fever in the 2004-2005 season, the strapping centre-back moved to Chicago Fire Premier, Atlanta Silverbacks and the Vancouver Whitecaps. He left the Whitecaps at the end of the 2008-2009 season and moved to Poland, playing for Flota Swinoujscie appearing 18 times for the Polish side. The following season he movd to Pogon Szczecin, spending two seasons with the club. Jarun has also played for Arka Gdynia in Poland and has also spent a season with Sporting Charleroi in Belgium’s First Division.

Standing at an imposing height of six feet five inches, Jarun accepted Palestine’s invitation to play for its national side in 2007. He has made 11 international appearances. He was also part of the successful Palestine side that won the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives.

Known to be very powerful in the air and a no-nonsense defender, Bharat FC’s head coach Stuart Watkiss said that Jarun’s height and defensive acumen would serve the team well as it headed into three very crucial months. “We are playing a lot of games in the next three months and it is important that we have the right players to get the positive results. Omar is someone who I have followed for quite some time. He is strong, has a very calm head and knows exactly what his job is. His height is a factor and allows us to possess a credible threat while going forward,” he said.

Amit Kalyani, Managing Director of Bharat FC, said that Jarun’s signing was a big boost to the team and would definitely add to the overall strength of the team. “Omar is a very experienced player. Apart from a host of clubs in North America, he has played a high level of football in Europe. His experience and quality will help Bharat FC further raise its game. He has also tasted success recently with Palestine at the AFC Challenge Cup and we hope that he can transfer that same success here in India,” he said.

Jarun for his part said that the chance to play in an interesting league competition and the growing popularity of football in India played an important role in him coming to India. “Bharat FC has a very interesting vision. It is a club with high ambitions and serious about what they are doing. Also, the club has managed to assemble a top-notch coaching staff and that was one of the other reasons behind me choosing to come to India,” he said.  The 31-year-old also said that it was the unpredictability of the I-League that attracted him towards the move. “The competition is very unpredictable and any team has the potential to win on any given weekend. From what I have seen, the League is played with a lot of passion and I think I am in for a very intense experience,” he said.