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SBD Global/February 25, 2013/International Football

Palestinian Football Association Turns Down Barcelona Offer Citing 'Many Obstacles'

The Palestine FA has told FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell that his proposal of organizing a friendly match between Barça and a mixed group of Palestinians and Israelis  has "many obstacles," according to the EFE. Palestinian FA President Yibril Rajub said, "It is a creative idea from the Barcelona president. We appreciate his good intentions and motivation, but there are many obstacles." He added, "I hope that all Barcelona followers around the world maintain their optimism for this dream to become reality. When? When the state of Palestine is established, free, independent, democratic, with the values of sports as the main philosophy and culture." He also said that the match could only take place if Israel "recognizes the rights of Palestinian athletes, their existence and their right to train" (EFE, 2/22).
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