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Football games remember 1914 truce

British diplomats will host a series of football matches across the globe to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War Christmas truce on the Western Front.

Staff at embassies, high commissions and consulates will stage the games as part of the Football Remembers campaign to mark the match played by British and German soldiers when they came together in 1914 in no-man's land.

In Israel, the British Embassy in Tel Aviv will host a tournament involving 200 young players from Arab and Jewish communities while the High Commission in Sri Lanka will stage matches for around 50 youngsters.

The Football Remembers programme is being carried out by the Premier League, the FA and the Football League and British Council and includes work with schools across the UK.

FA chairman Greg Dyke said: "I am delighted that staff at British embassies, high commissions and consulates around the world will be joining in, making it a truly international commemoration of the Christmas truce story.

"It is fitting that football is playing its part in keeping alive this remarkable moment in history. No one should ever forget how soldiers from opposing sides put down their weapons to come together in no-man's land in the spirit of friendship. It is a powerful story that must continue to be told and my thanks go to everyone who is playing their part."

In Brazil, British and German Consulates will play alongside local residents and the police while the embassy in Moscow will host a football match between children from a city orphanage and other local youngsters.

Alex Ellis, British Ambassador in Rio de Janeiro, said: "The Christmas truce story reminds us that sports can bring us together, even in terrible circumstances. The spirit of the game between German and British troops 100 years inspires the match which the British and German Consuls and consulates will play with local players and police in the Morro dos Prazeres community - a pacified favela in Rio de Janeiro."

Tim Barrow, British ambassador to Moscow, said: "As we play football let us remember our shared histories and find inspiration from that moment of peace 100 years ago."


From Belfast Telegraph