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Event Reports

One - Zero for Peace!

Inter-religious football match

On 12 October, Amani (Peace) Sports Club and Mshikamano (Solidarity) Sports Club met in the National Stadion of Dar es Salaam for an inter-religious football match.

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As a partner of the Dar es Salaam Peace Committee of Religious Leaders, the Tanzania office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) supported this interfaith initiative. Bishops and Sheikhs against Sheikhs and Bishops: In the game, the mixed teams "Amani (Peace) Sports Club" and "Mshikamano (Solidarity) Sports Club" met in the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. The final score was 1: 0 for Peace - thus the game was also in a figurative sense, a great success!

Some high quality footballing was offered: As part of a multi-week training under the guidance of the German coaching staff (Paulo Gomez and Stefan Reith) and an intense final training camp in Morogoro, the players had been intensively prepared.

Historically, the initiative was unique. For the very first time senior Christian and Muslim dignitaries met ahead of an official international FIFA friendly match (Tanzania against Benin, 4: 1) as part of a friendly match at the National Stadium to set a strong and publically visible signal for peace.

The joint initiative for religious tolerance, peace and interfaith cooperation was also supported by the Tanzanian government that sent prominent support. Tanzania's Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda held as the official guest of honor the award ceremony. Said Meck Sadiki, Regional Commissioner of the Region Dar es Salaam and Suleiman Kova Police Special Zone Commander acted among others as referees.

Both teams were frenetically cheered and celebrated by many football fans in the stadium. The two largest private TV stations in the country were broadcasting live, so that the fans in the while country could follow the historic friendly match in Dar es Salaam on their TV screens. The Tanzanian press as well as numerous blogs have also reported extensively. (See press review in the side column).

In his speech at the award ceremony, Tanzanian Prime Minister Pinda thanked the initiators of the game and encouraged them to continue the initiative named as Amani Cup (Peace Cup) on an annual basis. Also spectators, media representatives and representatives of the various religious groups themselves were enthusiastic and promoted the continuation of the strong initiative immediately after the game. Given the many positive reactions, the game was certainly a highlight along the commitment of KAS for interreligious dialogue in Tanzania. The latest outing from the conference room to the football field will therefore probably not be the last ...

For list of players and more click here

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