Saturday, September 06, 2008

One battling team not giving up on peace

Full marks to the Israeli-based Peres Peace Centre and the Palestinian al-Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue for their efforts to get together the team of twenty-six footballers (13 Israelis and 13 Palestinians) taking part in the 2008 Australian Football International Cup.

The team which wore yellow guernseys with a peace motif (see above) was part of a 16 team international competition, that took place in Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool over the past fortnight. The Peace Team displayed great spirit in its first few matches in which they were outplayed by stronger teams including the eventual winners Papua New Guinea but it came back at the end to record two victories against China and Finland.

The players would most certainly been singing their theme song - the John Lennon version of "All we are Saying is Give Peace a Chance" - with great gusto at the end of their last game playoff for 13th and 14th at the Western Oval against the Finns which they won by a whopping 75 points.

For the record the scores for that game were:

Peace Team 15.5.89 defeated Finland 2.2.14

Peace Team

Goal Kickers: R. Nadir 2, K. Abualthom 2, Y. Belik 2, N. Almanasra 2, F. Rumman 2, D. Haim, A. Abu Haduan, K. Kol, N. Koke

Best Players: R. Nadir, A. Suissa, D. Haim, U. Kandel, D. Tamimi, K. Abualthom


Goal Kickers: T. Heiskanen, T. Oksanen

Best Players: V. Koivunen, J. Loven, K. Byrne, K. Heikkila, F. Romar, S. Doherty

And for the record, congratulations to the Melbourne Age's Martin Flanagan for his absorbing story about the team - One battling team not giving up on peace

Flanagan understands that it's the people and not the politics that is the only hope the troubled region has for true peace - a message lost on so many others over the ages.

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