The British embassy and a soccer-oriented coexistence NGO have launched a soccer league in Jaffa for Arab and Jewish children, the embassy announced this week.
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The launch took place in Jaffa on Tuesday, with Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Ramzi Safouri joining the event and kicking off the tournament.
Staff from the British embassy participated in a friendly game against local children.
The nonprofit, called The Equalizer, is an educational and social NGO run in collaboration with the education, sport and public security ministries, and supported by the British embassy. It provides year-round, soccer-based activities for Jewish and Arab preteens, “instilling in them stronger sporting, social and educational values, and promoting coexistence between Arabs and Jews,” according to the embassy. Most of the children are underprivileged or come from families that cannot afford after-school activities.
The goal of the Jaffa League is to work with program graduates for an additional year.
“Following the success of the program in northern Israel, I am delighted to announce the launch of the first British Embassy and Equalizer Jaffa League, which will bring Jewish and Arab children together through [soccer],” said David Quarrey, the British ambassador to Israel. “I have seen the great work The Equalizer has already done in using sport to break down barriers and bring communities together.”