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14/06/2009 - 07:00hs

Corinthians and Flamengo to play in Palestine

Brazil will promote a match for peace in the Arab country, similar to the one held in Haiti in 2004. The initiative is part of a strategy for promoting the Brazilian image abroad through sports.

São Paulo – The Brazilian government is going to promote a match between two leading national football teams, Corinthians and Flamengo. This week, an official request was submitted by the general manager for sports exchange and cooperation of the Brazilian foreign office (Itamaraty), Vera Cintia Alvarez, and accepted by the teams. No date has been set yet, but according to Vera, the match should be the second game for peace that Brazil promotes abroad. The first one took place in 2004, in Haiti, where the government maintains a mission.

Press Release
Press Release

Vera: game will strengthen friendship with Palestine

The match in Palestine is an initiative of the general coordination for sports exchange and cooperation, established by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. The aim is to use sports for promoting the image of Brazil in foreign countries. Within that context of using sports as a factor for social inclusion and education, several initiatives are being implemented, among them the game between Corinthians and Flamengo. The match should be held in a stadium with capacity for 6,000 people.

"The game will strengthen our friendship with the Palestine, a suffering, brotherly country, will not interfere in our relations with Israel, and will also promote two great teams," said Vera Cintia in an interview to ANBA. The setting of a date depends on the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) and the Palestinian Football Federation. According to Vera, the latter was charmed by the idea of promoting the match.

The promotion of games abroad is just one of the initiatives of the Itamaraty in the sports field. The recently established coordination in the area carries out a series of actions ranging from the simple manufacturing of an official T-shirt of the Brazilian Football Team bearing the name of the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, that was given to him as a present by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to helping other countries, especially African ones, create projects for social inclusion through sports.

The general coordination for sports exchange and cooperation of the Itamaraty also manages the International Football School, which is based in the Brazilian capital, Brasília, and provides training to Portuguese-speaking countries. The first course at the school was held in the first half of last year, and a match between the Brasília team and the local national team was promoted in April 2008, during the swearing-in of the current president of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Kham by request of Kham himself. According to Vera, the priority is African, Arab and South American countries, as part of the wider strategy of South-South cooperation of the Lula administration.

Press Release
Press Release

Itamaraty and heads of Corinthians and Flamengo closed the deal

Among the Arab countries, talks are being held with Saudi Arabia for cooperation in the establishment of football schools for children. According to Vera, the Saudis are interested cooperating with Brazil in the field. According to the general coordination for sports exchange and cooperation at the Itamaraty, Brazilian coaches are already present in the Arab country. The general coordination accompanied the visit of the Saudi prince, Nawaf Bin Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, to Brazil last year. He is the vice president of the Saudi Football Federation, of the Saudi Olympic Committee, and is also a member of the International Olympic Committee.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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