Trip to Israel and Palestine in quest to build bridges of peace through sport
President Sandro Rosell and vice president Javier Faus will be departing on Thursday for a two-day trip to Israel and Palestine to strengthen institutional and commercial ties with representatives of both communities
President Sandro Rosell and vice president Javier Faus will be departing on Thursday for a two-day trip to Israel and Palestine to strengthen institutional and commercial ties with representatives of both communities. The Barça directors will have a tight schedule that includes interviews with major Israeli and Palestinian figures, and visits to such emblematic places. The visit to Israel will also include a floral offering at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
Among others, Rosell and Faus will be meeting in Tel Aviv with Israeli president Shimon Peres. In Ramallah, the capital of the West Bank, the two FCB representatives will be speaking to the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmud Abbas, and members of the Palestinian Executive at the Muqata, including General Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestinian Football Federation and Olympic Committee.
The FC Barcelona president and vice president will be attending a meeting on Thursday with Shimon Peres and the two presidents will be making a joint institutional statement at the Kfar Hamaccabiah. Rosell will then be visiting the Peres Centre for Peace in Jaffa. On Friday, the Barça party will be travelling to Ramallah for an interview with Mahmud Abbas and Rajoub, at the Muqata, and will then be giving a press conference.
The most popular club in the Middle East
FC Barcelona is the most supported sports club both among Israelis and Palestinians, and has always defended the universal values and social commitments that have led it to participate in so many cooperation projects around the world. Barça is doing its own bit by seeking forms of understanding and agreement among the Israeli and Palestinian people through sport and education.
The club knows that peace can only be possible by a strengthening of the trust between the two communities. In recent years, FCB has been taking part in events and activities that have contributed to this cause. In 2005, a game was played to foster peace in the Middle East against the Peace Team, formed by Israeli and Palestinian players (2-2), by initiative of Lluís Bassat and Shimon Peres, who were joined by Palestinian Minister for Agriculture Walid Abed Rabo. In July 2011, Mahmud Abbas visited FC Barcelona, where he was welcomed by institutional vice president Carles Vilarrubí.
FC Barcelona believes it is important for children to be involved in this peace process. In this regard, in October 2011, the club’s Foundation organised a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian children at its La Masia Oriol Tort training facility and residence, where the youngsters attended peace workshops and played matches together. The FC Barcelona Foundation also collaborates with YaLa, the youth social movement created by initiative of the Peres Center for Peace to foster coexistence between the two communities, organising events and activities on the club facilities whenever they visit Barcelona.
The schedule of this trip is subject to last minute changes. The venues and times of the places where President Rosell will be speaking to the media will be announced shortly.