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Barca wants 'peace match' against Israeli-Palestinian team
Published Friday 22/02/2013 (updated) 09/03/2013 17:48
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Israel's President Shimon Peres (R) and President of Barcelona soccer
team Sandro Rosell hold t-shirts which they gave one other as gifts
during a news conference in Tel Aviv Feb. 21. (Reuters/Nir Elias)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Barcelona plans to play a friendly soccer match against a joint Israeli-Palestinian team in Tel Aviv at the end of July in the hope of promoting Middle East peace, the Catalonian club's president said on Thursday.

"Barcelona modestly wishes to make themselves available in order to contribute to the effort to strengthen the bridges of peace and dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian communities. The best way we can do this is with a ball," Sandro Rosell said.

"We want to make our team, our players, available to take part in a football match with the hope that this match will serve as a channel of dialogue within the two communities that will help bring them closer together."

Rosell made the announcement alongside Israeli President Shimon Peres during a visit to Tel Aviv the day after his club lost 2-0 at Italian side AC Milan in their Champions League last-16, first leg tie.

Israeli FA chairman Avi Luzon said the proposed game at the National Stadium in Tel Aviv on July 31 would be between Barcelona and a squad made up equally of Israeli and Palestinian players managed jointly by both of the national team coaches.

He added it was now up to President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to the proposal. Rosell will meet Abbas on Friday in Ramallah.

Barcelona hosted a similar peace match at the Nou Camp stadium in 2005.

Even though they live side by side, Israeli and Palestinian teams do not play each other in competition, as Israel are members of European soccer's governing body UEFA and the Palestine soccer team play in Asia.

An issue that will have to be addressed for the match to go ahead successfully will be access to the Israeli stadium for Palestinian players and supporters as Israeli policy largely bars Palestinians from entering Israel.

Rosell said Peres had undertaken to ensure that all players selected to participate would be permitted to attend.
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1 ) Samer / Palestine
22/02/2013 15:36
barcelona and rial madrid are supported throughout arab countrys.especially Palestine.so what do isreal do??>>through whatever means , influence barca and madrid into their hasbara and normalisation zionist projects.nobody in 'isreal' as even heard of either team..

2 ) ft / greece
22/02/2013 15:39
"Even though they live side by side, Israeli and Palestinian teams do not play each other in competition, as Israel are members of European soccer's governing body UEFA and the Palestine soccer team play in Asia."just to p*ss them off ,change the time zones also.

3 ) Mel / USA
22/02/2013 16:12
Rosell,the MOST HONORABLE way you can do that,is NOT by photo-poses,with soccer shirts(especially alongside Zionist terrorist Peres,but GET the Spanish Govt to publically KEEP condemning Israel's "longest official military occupation in modern history" of ALL PALESTINE &10 MILLION Palestinians in TOTO,whther in Israel,The Palestinian Occupied Territories or EXPELLED,OR REFUGEED,IN THE DIASPORA.That would be far more SPORTING &honorable. PEACE B4 PENALTIES! Anything else is photo-ops!

4 ) Carlos / usa
23/02/2013 23:00
Boycott Intel corporation for enabling israeli terrorism. I ordered my computer with AMD processor instead. Buy a tablet because most do not use Intel chips. Please check to make sure there is no Intel inside


5 ) Nick / Cyprus
24/02/2013 00:31
Mel, why do you condemn efforts like Barcelona's to start dialogue? Easy for you to sit at home 10,000 km away and pontificate -- what have you ever done to make things better?

6 ) Mel / USA
24/02/2013 19:08
#5:Nick:The 1st & most important thing to do"to make things better",for ALL, including the safety/integrity,of the pre-67 Israeli state(not Zionist terrorists)is to END the Israeli OCCUPATION. Anything else is'jogging around the soccer pitch' endlessly!Commercial flim-flam! The OCCUPATION is the CORE,main(un)sporting 'event' ON ILLEGAL STEROIDS!End that criminality,level the playing 'field' & all teams come out equal to play a better,more honorable,GAME!If you're in divided Cyprus,you'd KNOW!

7 ) Lek / Nigeria
25/02/2013 22:04
@Mel, i totaly agree with your submission on this issue. Does Israeli terrorists even believe a mere soccer match can stop their agression the Palestinians and occupation of their land? For peace to reign, jewish must leave the land.

8 ) rashid / cyprus
03/03/2013 20:13
@7 agree.all.
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