Israel and the UAE have played their first every rugby match. The friendly game in Dubai last Friday was named ‘Abraham Accord Friendship Cup’ after the normalisation agreement between the two countries.

Israel won 33 to 0. The teams that played a second match including player mixed from both nations.

 

Congratulating the teams in a video message, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin praised the “wonderful expression of the new spirit of people-to-people peace following the historic Abraham Accords.

“While leaders may sign peace agreements, true peace requires people on both sides to build bonds of friendship and cooperation in every arena.”

 

The president of the Israeli Rugby Association, Ofer Fabian, told Kan news: “We were met with a great desire to come together [from the Emirati side]. As far as we’re concerned this should turn into an annual thing, and of course they want to come to Israel.”

The Israeli team stayed in Dubai to celebrate and held an outdoor Shabbat ceremony captured by Khaleej Times writer Michal Divon.

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