Israel’s national rugby team defeated their United Arab Emirates counterparts 33-0 on Friday in a friendly game held in Dubai at the Dubai Stadium.
“We are looking forward to more friendly matches between Israeli and Emirati sports teams,” wrote Ofir Gendelman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic-language spokesperson to the Arab media.
صور من المباراة الودية التي أجريت اليوم بين منتخب الرغبي الإسرائيلي والمنتخب الإماراتي في ملعب دبي.
نتطلع إلى المزيد من المباريات الودية بين فرق رياضية إسرائيلية وإماراتية. pic.twitter.com/Vuea0YfvTy
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) March 19, 2021
The two teams played in a match called the Abraham Accord Friendship Cup, after the name of the normalization agreement signed by Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and the US last year at the White House.
Due to the pandemic, there were no fans in the stadium.
Rugby is a gentleman’s sport. The pictures say it all. Amazing Israel-UAE match ???? ? Dubai Exiles RFC pic.twitter.com/8LEs8B9llt
— Michal Divon (@michaldivon) March 20, 2021
After that first match, the two teams mixed it up a little with players from both sides on each team, dubbed “blue” and “white” for a second game. The “white” team won that match 50-40.
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin sent his congratulations to the teams in a video message, lauding the “new spirit of people-to-people peace following the historic Abraham Accords.”
Leaders may sign peace agreements, Rivlin commented, but “true peace requires people on both sides to build bonds of friendship and cooperation in every arena.”