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Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP)
6 April 2010




Press Release
Palestinian Football Association and UNDP/PAPP Launch the Gaza World Cup
Tournament


Gaza, April 6, 2010 – The Palestinian Football Association, in cooperation with Kitegang and with funds from the United Nations Development Programme launched today the Gaza World Cup Initiative. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Ibrahim Abu Saleem, Deputy of the Palestinian Football Association, Mr. Walid Ayyoub, Deputy of the Palestinian Olympics Committee and Mr. Basel Nasser representing the United Nations Development Programme.

The initiative will include a two-week football tournament during the first half of May, 2010, in which approximately 200 Gazan professional football players will join together with 200 foreigner amateurs to compose 16 different “national” teams in the quest to win the “Gaza World Cup” – an artistic trophy handmade from the twisted iron of Gaza. The scheduled 15 matches will take place at the Palestine and Yarmok Stadiums, two of the largest stadiums in Gaza City. Each event will be free and open to the public.

The project, worth US$30,000, is part of UNDP’s Early Recovery support programme which aims at improving the daily lives of the Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip through the provision of public recreational activities.

The PFA representative stated: “UNDP has been always one of the main generous contributors to the youth and sports sector. We truly value their continued support and the support of all of those who have contributed in organizing this historical event”

Mr. Basil Nasser the Programme Coordinator at UNDP/PAPP in Gaza said: “This project comes as part of UNDP’s strategy to respond to the youth and sports sector needs in the Gaza Strip. It also comes as part of UNDP’s efforts to create venues of activism and meaningful engagement for the Palestinian youth who are still victims of occupation, isolation, and internal politics. UNDP dedicates this project to the youth of the Gaza Strip; to provide them with a space where they can send a message of peace and creativity to the whole world and let the world know about their reality in Gaza”.

Several local and international organizations are involved in making the Gaza World Cup a success. The Palestinian Football Association will coordinate the tournament, while the United Nations Development Programme is the primary benefactor of the initiative. Bank of Palestine, Visit Gaza, non-profit toy company Kitegang and numerous other organizations are also involved.

It is worth noting that currently approximately 1.6 million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip. Gazan involvement in international sporting events, and indeed many arguably more important activities, remains nearly impossible due to movement restrictions.


For further information, please contact:
In Jerusalem: Dania Darwish, Communications Officer, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org, Conal Urquhart, External Relations Advisor, Tel. +972-2-6268200 – e-mail: conal.urquhart@undp.org, In Gaza: Najla Shawa, Communications Associate, Tel. +972-8-2822167 – e-mail: Najla.shawa@undp.org, Tamer Qarmout, Programme Analyst e-mail: tamer.qarmout@undp.org, Said Abu Ghaza, Project Manager e-mail: said.abughazza@undp.org, Tel. +972 59 9429555. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.undp.ps.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners

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