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Egyptian Footballer Rejects ‘Peace Match’ Over Israeli Participation

Egyptian Footballer Rejects ‘Peace Match’ Over Israeli Participation
Egyptian Soccer Star Abou Treika wearing a T-shirt that reads "Sympathize with Gaza," during An African Cup of Nations match.
Egyptian Soccer Star Abou Treika wearing a T-shirt that reads “Sympathize with Gaza,” during An African Cup of Nations match.

Former second-striker and Egyptian soccer legend Abou Treika declined an invitation to the “Match for Peace” organized by Pope Francis because of the participation of ex-Liverpool and Chelsea Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

Abou Treika, who is a prominent figure in the Egyptian sports industry, refused to take part in the friendly match organized by the Roman Catholic Church stating on his twitter account, “I rejected the invitation because of the [participation] of the Zionist entity. We are setting an example to the new generation.”

The Inter-religious Match for Peace scheduled to take place on September 1st at the Olympic Stadium in Rome is “based on spirituality, fraternity and sporting excellence, in the name of the dialogue among peoples for the peace in the world,” the match’s site stated.

Abou Treika has shown sympathy for Gaza on several occasions, including a time where he displayed a shirt reading “Sympathise with Gaza” in an African Cup of Nations’ match.

Former soccer star Wael Gomaa has also been invited to participate in the Match for Peace but has yet to take a stance. However, he is expected to assume the same position.

Several world class players are expected to attend the event including Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Zinedine Zidane, Javier Zanetti, Andrea Pirlo, Roberto Baggio and Gianluigi Buffon.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 2,000 Palestinians have been killed in military operations commenced by Israel on July 8. Hundreds of thousands of others remain displaced as the United Nations calls for emergency support.

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  • Royan Firasha Khalil

    Good for you Abou Treika!

  • Andy Shokry

    I have to disagree with Abou Treika on this one. I completely understand his situation but if we never work hand in hand even with the enemy and try to get to a solid ground together, then we’ll never achieve peace. Hardheadedness is an Egyptian’s curse.

    • Minymina

      Well said.

    • michael

      I agree with you Andy ,,Maybe sport can bring peace, better than politician can achieve,

    • Royan Firasha Khalil

      Hardheadedness????we are hardheaded when for decades since its conception TBH Israel has shown no softness towards Gaza and other palestinians.you cant work hand in hand when the other party isnt even trustable.Sorry Andy but u r having illusions if u think Israeli bureaucrat are gonna care whether he plays wd Yossi or not…but wht his decision will do is inspire others to take a stand……u dont fight against thieves who come to ur home by being kind.u hv to fight wd what u can…n if all Abou Treika can do is not play..good for him.

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