Tabariyya has been crowned the champion of the sixth edition of Rachel Corrie Football Tournament after defeating Al Quds team.
By Adnan Abu Al Sa’ud, tournament co-founder.
Tabareyya team has been crowned the champion the sixth annual of Rachel Corrie Football Tournament for after defeating Al Quds team 2 vs.1 in an exciting final game amidst dozens of sport celebrities and community dignitaries, with the attendance of more than 3000 people filling the bleachers of Yaser Arafat Hall in Khadamat Rafah Club.
The final day included a 20 min karate demonstration followed by the final game which was between Al Quds and Taberiyya. Mahmoud Fahajan scored the first goal for Al Quds in the first half, and from there on it was a lively back and forth struggle as Al Quds defended its advantage but was also prevented from scoring by a tenacious Taberiyya defense. As the second half clock ran down, it looked like Al Quds had a lock on the game, but in the last minutes Taberiyya, reaching for a last reservoir of energy, made a remarkable u-turn and two goals were scored by Ahmad Al Lulahi and Muhammad Al Qadi. That lifted the team to the podium of triumph amidst the cheering and excitement of the audience.
Following the end of the game, head of organizers Hammad Hammad and the community dignitaries offered prizes to the members of the three wining teams: Taberiyya, Al Quds and Burayr. Prizes this year were a sports bag with football shoes and a tournament jersey. Plus, Jihad Uthman obtained the best player prize, Muhammad Abd Al Lateef Musa obtained the scorer prize where he scored 8 goals in the tournament and Basel Al Sabbahin obtained the best goalkeeper prize. These prizes gave our tournament a special touchwere made possible by supporters in the US, UK, and from around the world.
Awards are given to Khadamat Rafah Club for hosting the event and Al Basma Club for Disabled for financial sponsorship. They also honored the mayor, the police special force and the freed prisoners including: Akram Al Rikhawi, Taysir Al Burdeeni, Mahmud Al Sarsak and the PLC member Ashraf Juma.
It worth noting that the tournament started in the first day of Ramadan with the participation of 50 teams from Rafah and beyond and up to 550 players enjoyed playing soccer during the 26 day span of time amidst a youth audience, most of them under 18 years old.
This year the fifty local teams took the names of towns and villages in historic Palestine destroyed by Israel in 1948. Tournament organizers said this theme marks “a point of convergence between Rachel Corrie as a human rights defender and Gaza refugee’s legacy of resisting injustice.
The towns and villages represented in the tournament are as follows: Bayt Daras, Bayt Jirja, Lod, Zarnuqa, Baysan, Muqeibila, Saffuriyya, Hiribya, Acre, Al Ramla, Haifa, Salama, Jaffa, Umm Al Rashrash. Al Abbasiyya, Nazareth, Tal Al Rabe’, Tiberias, Huj, Wadi Hunayn, Qastina, Barbara, Aqir, Sarafand Al Amar, Burayr, Barqa, Al Batani Al Gharbi, Yazur, Hatta, Qattra, Galilee, Bir Salem, Isdud, Jerusalem, Yebna, Karatiyya, Al Jaladiyya, Al Majdal, Safad, Banias, Simsim, Al Jura, Bayt Teima, Al Qubeiba, Al Faluja, Ayn Karem, Hamameh, Beersheba, Dir Yasin, Bashit .