HISTORIC: Arab-Israeli side reaches UEFAcup berth (1 Viewer)

Slagathor

Bedpan racing champion
Jul 25, 2001
22,708
#1
BNEI CLAIM CUP BERTH

Bnei Sakhnin beat Hapoel Haifa 4-1 on Tuesday to win the coveted State Cup and become the first Arab Israeli side to secure a place in Europe's UEFA Cup. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat sent their congratulations in a rare show of unity for a region torn by violence and mistrust.

"This victory is like a new start, a new era for Israeli Arabs," said Sakhnin team captain Abbas Suan.

Club chairman Mazen Ghnaim said: "We have qualified for Europe and we will prove to the world how to make peace between Jews and Arabs."

Israel's Arabs, who number some 1.1 million, make up nearly a fifth of the population. They are descended from families that stayed while hundreds of thousands fled or were forced out during the 1948 Independence War.

Israeli Arabs say the government fails to give the same funding to their towns, schools and other infrastructure as it does for Jews.

"Discrimination is so obvious," said Mohammed Bashir, mayor of the town of 22,000 in the verdant hills of Galilee.

"Our people in Sakhnin hope that this win will open the door for a real and concrete partnership and equal rights."

Sakhnin has often been the scene of clashes between locals and Israeli police. Thirteen Arabs were killed in riots near the start of a Palestinian uprising in 2000.

But while many Israeli Arabs sympathise with Palestinian kin in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, few have taken an active role in the conflict that has raged in the Middle East for more than three and a half years.

Arafat phoned to congratulate Sakhnin from his besieged West Bank headquarters.

Sharon promised extra help to rebuild the town stadium.

"I am sure you will represent Israel with honour in Europe," said a statement from the prime minister

Taken from www.eurosport.com

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Club chairman Mazen Ghnaim said: "We have qualified for Europe and we will prove to the world how to make peace between Jews and Arabs."
Excellent! I like this man and his club already! :thumb:
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,096
#6
++ [ originally posted by sallyinzaghi ] ++
Sorry Erik. Well that's good news innit? I'm very happy. Football brings people together, YEAH! :touched:
Wow, that was the translation!? :eek:

That's one efficient language you've got there :D:p
 

K10

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2002
2,698
#8
Nice to see football moving in the right direction. Bringing people together as opposed to just concentrating on money.

Any chance of expecting a USA vs Iran match soon?
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,096
#9
++ [ originally posted by Sidz-Inzaghi ] ++
nay...Alhamdulilah means Praise to God
I know, I was just joking mate :)
++ [ originally posted by K10 ] ++
Any chance of expecting a USA vs Iran match soon?
Already happened :p Remember France 98? That was truly touching; the match was conveniently scheduled on FIFA Fair Play Day, and the two teams embraced for a photo and exchanged flowers. The match was very important too, as the loser of the match would be knocked out. That was truly touching to see them being so friendly with each other :touched:
 

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