Sunday 25 February 2018

Gaza's young footballers gear up for visit to Ireland

Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr and former rugby international Trevor Hogan launch 'Gaza Kids to Ireland' with the help of a group of Palestinian footballers in Dublin yesterday
Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr and former rugby international Trevor Hogan launch 'Gaza Kids to Ireland' with the help of a group of Palestinian footballers in Dublin yesterday

Sam Griffin

Children from war-torn Palestine will embark on a daunting cross-desert journey for one very special football holiday in Ireland.

Under-14 members of the Al-Helal football club are gearing up to take on teams from Dublin, Tipperary, Limerick and Antrim when they visit Ireland next August.

The team's clubhouse, situated in the besieged Gaza Strip, was damaged in Israeli assaults in 2012 and again earlier this year and the players have been left with few safe places to play football.

'Gaza Kids to Ireland', organised by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) and Antrim to Gaza, will see the children cross the Sinai Desert in order to safely arrive in Ireland.

Thousands of euro in donations are required and former Ireland manager Brian Kerr yesterday launched the fundraising drive.

He said the trip was an opportunity to show the "solidarity" that football can offer.

Ex-rugby international Trevor Hogan, who works with GAI, said the trip was a "different way" to support children in Palestine.

Irish Independent

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