Know More About Palestine

Monday May 3, 2010 4:43 PM (EST+7)
Gaza kicks off football 'World Cup'

Read more: Gaza, sports, football, soccer, World Cup

RAMALLAH, May 3 (JMCC) - The people of Gaza kicked off their own version of the Football 'World Cup' on Monday, pitting 16 teams representing different countries in a tournament similar to the one held by FIFA every four years.

The banging Arab dance music, the blaring Italian National anthem, the reciting of the Koran and the over-excited Bedouin commentator led to quite an atmosphere for the opening of the Gazan Football World Cup.

And that's before the first game even started.

We want to show that Gazans enjoy life like every other people, says Tamir Qamoud from the United Nations Development Programme, which is organising the event.

Around 5,000 fans of all ages turned out on a beautiful sunny day for the opening match, Palestine versus Italy.

Flags from both teams fluttered around the stadium as the game kicked off.

Italy eventually won 1-0 after scoring through a penalty.

Bedouin commentator at Gaza 'World Cup'
A very excited Bedouin commentator kept the crowd entertained

Sixteen teams are taking part in the two week tournament: Palestine, England, Turkey, USA, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Ireland, Egypt, Algeria, Spain, Serbia, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Jordan.

They are mostly made up from players from the amateur Gaza Football League, alongside foreign workers in Gaza from the respective countries.

We want to show the spirit of international cooperation in Gaza, says Balma Yahia, a UN worker playing in the South African team...

Read more at the BBC...






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