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In historic first, Morocco faces Israel in quiet basketball diplomacy match

Hosts come out on top in first game since signing of sport cooperation agreement; match marks first time Arab female players played an Israeli national team in their country

A poster advertising the first basketball game between the Morocco and Israel national women's' teams played on June 15 2022 (Royal Moroccan Basketball Federation)
A poster advertising the first basketball game between the Morocco and Israel national women's' teams played on June 15 2022 (Royal Moroccan Basketball Federation)

RABAT, Morocco — The Moroccan women’s basketball team hosted their Israeli counterparts for the first time on Wednesday in a quiet slice of sporting diplomacy played out in front of invited guests only.

The friendly game, a first in the framework of sports cooperation since the normalization of ties between the two countries at the end of 2020, took place in a gymnasium in Sale, near Rabat.

There were no spectators at the invitation-only event, said an AFP journalist.

According to the Israel Basketball Federation (IBBA) website, it was the first time that Arab female players had faced an Israeli national team in their country.

The Moroccans came out on top, 62-58, in a match organized on the sidelines of a framework cooperation agreement signed Tuesday in Rabat between the Royal Moroccan Basketball Federation (FRMBB) and the IBBA in order to develop sports exchanges, according to a press release.

“Through this cooperation, the Moroccan party aims, among other things, to benefit from the experience of the Israeli Federation which was founded in 1934 and which has accumulated a great deal of experience in terms of supervision, training and financial management,” the statement said.

The agreement provides in particular for the organization of tournaments and friendly matches at all levels and the participation of Moroccan coaches in advanced training courses in Israel.

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