Brazilian soccer teams won't play in Israel
Brasilia wants to hold friendly game between Sao Paulo's Corinthians, Rio de Janeiro's Flamingo in Ramallah, with no plans to hold similar game in Israel. Decision said to cause diplomatic tensions between countries
my favorite bit:
Giora Bachar, the Israeli ambassador to Brasilia inquired about the reports in the local media with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, which confirmed them.
"I intend to make the Brazilians understand that if a similar game is not held in Israel, we will see it as an act of ostracism,"
You could see it that way, yes...
Update: more on Dion Nussbaum's blog. According to Nussbaum, the Ramallah game is planned as a "peace match." Brazil beat Palestine in Haiti in a 2004 "peace match."
"The federal government supports this second peace game," said Vera Cintia, Brazil's foreign ministry sports coordinator. "Brazil has no better greeting card than soccer. We will try to deliver a good message to that suffering region."Why now? Well, Ramallah has a new soccer stadium, the timing could have something to do with that.
Israel could have chosen to see this as a simple tit for tat as the second of two friendly matches between FIFA members. Ironically, the fuss the Israeli ambassador to Brazil & YNet is making could raise it to be viewed as a calculated snub of Israel:
“I intend to make it clear to the Brazilians that if there isn’t a game in Israel, we will regard that as if we are being boycotted,” said the ambassador, according to Yedioth. “It would be best if there were two games—one in Ramallah and one in Israel—or a joint game that is played by Brazil, Israel and the Palestinians.”