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Football | Spain

Barcelona © Action Images

'Too soon' for Barca's peace match



The Palestinian football federation chief said on Friday it was "too soon" for a match against Israel as proposed by Barcelona although he praised the idea.

"This idea would cause a quake in the region if it were to take place, but it is too soon and the ball is in the Israeli camp," said Jibril Rajoub.

"The conditions are not ready for this idea. Israel does not even recognise us as a sporting entity," said the federation president.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has suggested a football match between Israel and the Palestinians with players from both sides of the conflict as a step towards Middle East peace.

Rosell, who met with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv on Thursday, travelled to the West Bank town of Ramallah the next day for talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

"The idea is to help the two peoples to reach peace with a meeting in which Barcelona stars and players from the two sides would take part," Rosell told a joint press conference with Rajoub.

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