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All Eyes on Spain for Peace Cup 2009

Peace Cup 2009The eyes of the footballing world were on Spain from July 24 to August 2 for the Peace Cup 2009. The competition featured some of the top teams in the world, including Aston Villa from England, who defeated Juventus from Italy in the final game on a penalty shoot-out. The hosts, Real Madrid, had recently added four new players at a cost of over $200m, including the record-breaking signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo, perhaps the best-known player in the world.


July 24: Sevilla 1/Juventus 2, Liga de Quito 3/Al Ittihad 1
July 25: Málaga 1/Aston Villa 0, Olympique Lyonnais 1/Besiktas 1
July 26: Sevilla 0/Seongnam 0, Real Madrid 1/Al-Ittihad 1
July 27: Málaga 0/Atlante 3, Olympique Lyonnais 0/Porto 2
July 28: Juventus 3/Seongnam 1, Real Madrid 4/Liga de Quito 2
July 29: Besiktas 0/Porto 0, Aston Villa 3/Atlante 1
July 31: Aston Villa 2/ Porto 1, Juventus 2/ Real Madrid 1
August 2: Aston Villa defeated Juventus

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Background on the Peace Cup:

By John Haydon, The Washington Times

The fourth edition of the Peace Cup, a football tournament involving some of the biggest clubs in the world, was held in Spain for the first time this past summer.

The biennial tournament began in 2003 and was played in South Korea until this year. Famed Spanish club Real Madrid co-hosted the 2009 event, and noted Italian team Juventus, along with English club Aston Villa, Sevilla FC, and Mexican team Atlante, were among the 12 teams involved.

Real Madrid was rarely out of the news early this year after signing Brazilian star Kaka and world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo, who quickly became the poster-boy of the 2009 Peace Cup Andalucia.

In the finals on August 2, Aston Villa of England faced the hotly favored Juventus of Italy. Despite the defeat of pre-competition Spanish favorites and hosts Real Madrid in the semifinals, interest remained strong until penalties settled the match in Villa’s favor.

Peace through football is an innovative approach to conflict resolution and consistent with the numerous ventures Dr. Moon has founded throughout his 90 years. “The competition showcases the very best football connected to the larger purpose of peace and development,” said Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, the tournament organizer.

Football has long played a role in seeking to ease enmity between nations and peoples. 

Long-time enemies Japan and South Korea co-hosted a World Cup, and old rivals Holland and Belgium co-hosted the 2000 European Championship.

At times, football has even brought a halt to serious conflicts. On Christmas Day 1914, German and British troops on the front lines during World War I put down their guns, came out of their trenches, and played a game in No Man's Land. In 1990, rival factions in the Lebanon War took time out from the war zone to watch World Cup on TV. In 1969, Brazilian star Pele's trip to Nigeria with his club, Santos, produced a three-day cease-fire in the Biafran War.

John Haydon has written about soccer for 20 years and has covered the Peace Cup going back to the inaugural event in 2003.


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