SixIsraeligrassrootsinitiativeshavebeenawarded€22,000worthofgrantstofundfootballprojectsseekingtopromote diversity,toleranceand coexistencebetweenJewsandArabs.
Projects include Hapoel Orani joint training sessions for Jewish-Arab youth, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Tayybe youth teams cooperation on projects encouraging coexistence and respect, Maccabi Achi Arara anti-racism activities, Nahal Alexander NGO mixed matches for Jewish and Arab youth from the Sharon and Triangle region, State of football coexistence activities for amateur footballers in Lod and Megiddo Sports Club of Peace and Brotherhood initiatives for Jews and Arabs.
The funding initiative is part of a collaboration between the Fare member New Israel Fund (NIF) anti-racism campaign Kick It Out Israel, the Israeli Football Association (IFA) and the Israeli PFA to help and encourage coexisting projects in Israel until the end of the 2016/17 season.
IFA CEO Rotem Kamer said: “This joint initiative is another important layer towards our goal of creating a football clean from violence and racism, and based on respect, equality, and unity. Football was and will continue to be a bridge for connection, tolerance, coexistence, and shared life here. This is our way to encourage and to support those taking part in this initiative and are working to unite Israeli society and Israeli football and not to deepen rifts. I expect continued involvement and even more great initiatives.”
The announcement was made during a special ceremony at the Israeli State Cup Final between Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Jerusalem, featuring Israeli PFA Nir Alon and former Israeli international Abbas Suan. In August a new series of grants will be distributed among other organisations.