Children make history: Israelis and Palestinians play soccer together

A special team at the world trophy in Sardinia: 14 10-year-olds united in the “Social Gol” team with David Suazo

From our correspondent Francesco Velluzzi

Ali brings the number 9 and in a few minutes he makes two of them equal in age to the Calangianus. The great experience of the Social Gol team at the Manlio Selis tournament last night began with a 3-0 victory. Ali and Adam, Aron and Amit hugging. Israelis and Palestinians. Because, as David Suazo, FIFA legends, said in the opening speech, “we are all equal and the barriers fall”.

Barriers down

Yesterday fell on an epochal day for 14 children in 2011, 7 Israelis and 7 Palestinians, united for the first time by Social Gol, the house of social projects, designed in Tel Aviv by Yacha Maknouz in 2008. Together. Happy. An inclusive event that they will never forget. “These days spent together are more important than a year of training”, says Arturo Cohen, Milanese, 29, for 10 in Jerusalem, technical manager of Social Gol which also Inter Campus relies on. Cohen is a kind of sporty dad for these little smiling, hopeful, full of dreams and emotions. He had to stay a few years in Jerusalem, he is still there to live football and social. And Suazo yesterday, before posing with them, brought the message of him and of FIFA: “Here, a small piece of our football history is written. Of inclusion, life, happiness, purity, feeling, play. Of children who want to have fun. It’s a message that Fifa likes. It is the message that Fifa works for every day, every minute, every second. It is the deep meaning of football. Peace first of all ”. Applause, a few tears, emotion.


At the 25th edition of Selis, the event that Enea Selis treats like a son in Gallura, there are, between 2009, Psg and Liverpool, Juve and Toro, Milan and Inter, Atalanta, Rome, Cagliari, but the attention it’s all for these children who landed after a year and a half of intense work on an idea by Stefano Longo and the marketing of Le Coq Sportif, main sponsor of the tournament, who wanted this dream to become reality. And so on Wednesday night, wearing Milan and Inter shirts, the team landed in Olbia. Transfer the Colonna Du Golf to Cugnana where the PSG is also staying and where the son of Wanda Nara and Maxi Lopez plays well as a center forward. “For 20 minutes our children looked at those of the PSG in ecstasy. Premier and Champions follow. They were incredulous ”, says Arturo. The first in Italy was a party: morning in the pool, training at the Geo Village, pasta with tomato sauce and there they went crazy. Zero meat. Some cannot for religious reasons. Only one request, difficult even for the hotel: new pots, to avoid contamination. “We had a lot of fun in the pool”, says Aron, an Israeli who speaks Italian like his father Yacha, the man who works day and night, with passion animates because this commitment does not allow you to get rich, to create inclusion and something in the social sphere. The best moment of this unforgettable holiday? The delivery of the technical sponsor uniforms. White and orange. And a backpack to put everything, clothing and memories. On this special day they mainly exchanged fives and smiles. A delegation of about twenty people who experience this first trip as something special.

The next challenge

Enea Selis smiles. She knows she has done something special. But she doesn’t stop there: “In 2023 I want a mixed team of Ukrainians and Russians”. You have carried out a demonstration that all of Europe envies you. With pain in her heart. Mario Decandia, the 37-year-old Luras waiter, killed in Palma de Mallorca a week ago by a Spanish police car while walking around after finishing work, was the nephew of him, the son of Aeneas’s sister. Today in the village it will be citizen mourning. And everyone will gather around Aeneas and her family. But the show must go on. And tomorrow the final of Selis is celebrated, the tournament that Enea has dedicated to his father Manlio. So many emotions that make you move. But a unique event. That every year she gives something more. Also on a social level.

#Children #history #Israelis #Palestinians #play #soccer

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