President Shimon Peres and the president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell
announced Thursday that Barcelona will face a mixed-team of Israelis and
Palestinians in Israel on July 31 as part of a peace initiative.
"We know that
football is a universal language that should be used to bring people together,’
Peres said. "FC Barcelona, modestly, wishes to make themselves available in
order to contribute to strengthen the bridges of peace and dialogue between the
Israeli and Palestinian communities. The best way we can think of to do that is
with a ball."
Rosell added: ‘Children have heroes like Messi, Xavi and Iniesta
to copy. Sport in general, and football in particular, brings down barriers,
eliminates racism and teaches us to compete in friendship rather than fight in