Peres Peace team under way

Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 01:29 pm ACDT

Contributed by: Brett Northey

The ambitious plan to bring a combined Israeli-Palestinian team to the 2008 Australian Football International Cup in Victoria appears to be well under way. The concept is based on a similar team that has toured the world playing soccer, but has the added complexity that for the players, Aussie Rules is a completely foreign game.

Athletes with strong soccer and basketball backgrounds have been targeted, and 75 are now in training, from which 35 to 40 will be selected to represent Israel-Palestine. The side will compete in the second division of the Cup. Beyond the challenges of a foreign game, historical conflict and the need to have the rules translated into Hebrew and Arabic, the players have also faced a lockdown on the West Bank when US President George Bush visited the area, and a massive snowstorm that prevented training in Jerusalem.

You can read more about the newest team to hit world footy in Making the impossible possible, by Chelsea Roffey, on the AFL website. In good news for footy, Roffey, from Media Giants, will be working with the AFL to expand coverage of international Australian Football leading up to, and through, the International Cup. As per 2005, will also be providing material to the AFL, and plans are under way between the three groups to pool resources to make the third Cup the best covered yet.

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