.
.
.
.

FC Barcelona sends footballs to Palestinian schoolchildren

The balls are apparently replacements for those lost over the separation fence between the West Bank and Israel

Published: Updated:

Palestinian schoolchildren in the village of Kafr Sur in Tulkarem this week received footballs from Spanish giant FC Barcelona.

The balls are apparently replacements for those lost over the separation fence between the West Bank and Israel over the years, the Guardian reported.

A Spanish journalist, Anna Alba, who spoke about the “gift” said she hoped that it would encourage other teams to come to the area and support local athletes.

“I hope that this activity will encourage another football club, another very big football team, to come to Palestine and to show their support to Palestinian athletes,” she said on a video published by the Guardian.

She also referenced FC Barcelona’s Peace Tour, organized last year, which aimed foster bonds between Palestine and Israel.

In March 2013, Palestinians rejected a proposal to join Israeli soccer players in a match against Barcelona, saying the suggestion was “illogical” and “impossible.”

Even though they live right next to each other, Israeli and Palestinian teams do not play each other in competition, as Israel is a member of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, while the Palestinian soccer team plays in Asia.

At the time, the head of the Palestinian Football Association in Ramallah, Jibril Rajoub, said there were many obstacles standing in the way of the proposed game.

“For us sport is a tool for spreading love, stability and co-operation with all the world. But the possibility of playing a soccer game with Israeli participants in the absence of Israeli recognition of a national Palestinian sporting body, in accordance with the Olympic charter, and in the absence of recognizing the right of the Palestinian sporting body to practice sport, I think without achieving all this, playing this game will not be possible,” Rajoub told Reuters Television.

(With Reuters)