Thursday, February 21st, 2013
“Barca wants to make a modest contribution to build bridges of understanding and harmony between the Israeli and Palestinian people through sports and education.” – Sandro Rosell.
Barcelona have offered to play a friendly against a team of Jewish and Muslim players in late July if an agreement can be made between the governments of Israel and Palestine.
Rumours have been circling for a few days now, with Barcelona president Sandro Rosell in Israel, where he met with Israeli president Shimon Peres today.
The formal offer, announced by the club on Thursday night, is expected to be made for a July 31, 2013 friendly when Rosell visits Jerusalem and Ramalla on Friday.
Barcelona are wildly popular in the Middle East and the Catalan side have guaranteed that Lionel Messi would be part of the exhibition match at the start of their pre-season for 2013/2014.
In a press conference on Thursday, Rosell said: “The three parties have taken the first step for this match to become a reality and from now on we will be working together to achieve that.”
The Nou Camp previously hosted a Peace match at the Nou Camp in late 2005 against a joint team of Israelis and Palestinians.
Today, to push the initiative, Barcelona have launched videos affirming their commitment to be “a bridge of peace” – the English version is below.