이스라엘 선수 15명 팔레스타인 선수 12명으로 구성된 평화 팀이 바로셀로나로 가서 경기를 했고 결과는 1:2로 바로셀로나의 승리였습니다.
이번 경기 주선은 시몬 페레즈라는 정치인이 주선을 하였고 무엇보다도 고무적인 일은 팔레스타인 가자 지구에 있는 축구 선수들이 이번 축구 시함에 합류했다는 것입니다. 한 가지 아쉬운 점은 경기장이 이스라엘이 아닌 스페인이라는 점이죠. 물론 바로셀로나 팀이 현재 리그 중이라서 그럴 수도 있지만, 한편으로는 아직은 이스라엘과 팔레스타인이 가까워지기 위해서는 좀 더 많은 노력이 필요하다는 생각이 듭니다.
팔레스타인 추구팀 감독 카스탄은 "축구는 모든 사람이 이해할 수 있는 언어이다." 라고 말하면서 이스라엘과 팔레스타인의 스포츠 교류가 더 많아지기를 기대한다고 했습니다.
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Soccer / `Peace team' to face Barcelona tonight
Israeli and Palestinian soccer players flew to Spain yesterday for a friendly match against Barcelona tonight.
The "peace team," sponsored by Shimon Peres' Center for Peace, includes Israeli internationals and Palestinian players from the West Bank.
Most of the 27-member team, which was accompanied by a host of local sports and political dignitaries, flew from Tel Aviv for the match today, which comes at the end of a two-day Euro-Mediterranean summit in Barcelona. Leaders of all 25 European Union member states and 10 of Mediterranean neighbors are meeting in the city to discuss closer regional cooperation.
The team will be jointly coached by newly-appointed Israel national team coach Dror Kashtan and Palestinian coach Jamal Hadeideh of Tul Karm.
"Soccer is a language that anybody can understand, and I'm happy to be a part of the message that will go out to the world through this match - that Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in soccer is a natural thing," Kashtan said in a statement. "I hope that this game is only the first of many other joint sporting ventures that will take place in the future."
Movie actor and soccer fan Sean Connery, who is in Barcelona to promote tonight's game said: "What we really need is to get back some of the optimism we had five years ago (in the Middle East peace process) and I'm sure there's going to be a change in the climate within a week."
Members of the 15-strong Israeli contingent include national team captain Avi Nimni, veteran defenders Arik Benado and Alon Harazi, and Israeli Arabs Abbas Suan and Walid Badir. Among the 12 Palestinian members is national team captain Haldin Mahed Ali Aloara.
Regular sporting events between Israelis and Palestinians are rare. The Peres center's soccer and basketball coaching program for Israeli and Palestinian youth, which is begun in 2002, is an exception.
The center says some 2,000 children already have benefited from the program, which has promoted projects with the help of Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Ronaldo and Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who visited the region earlier this year.
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