Soccer Star Lionel Messi to Promote Peace in Israel

February 23, 2013  

President Shimon Peres will meet Thursday evening with FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel in Ramat Gan. At the end of the meeting, the two officials are expected to announce a unique project aimed at promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians through sports.

As part of the project, Barca will arrive in Israel on July 31 for an exhibition game against a mixed team of Jewish and Arab players.

The Catalan soccer team is expected to arrive in Israel for just one day with all its players, including its biggest star – Lionel Messi.

The meeting’s organizers are hoping that the match will be broadcast live all over the world.

During the meeting between Peres and Rossell, the president is expected to receive a Barca shirt with the caption “Peres No. 1” in Spanish.

Rosell, who is visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the first time with FC Barcelona Vice President Javier Faus, issued the following statement on Wednesday:

“Barca wants to make a modest contribution to build bridges of understanding and harmony between the Israeli and Palestinian people through sports and education.”

An aide to Peres said, “This is the president’s vision, which the Peres Center for Peace is based on, and such a move could promote peace.”


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