Ironically, this may have done more for “interfaith” understanding than the actual game. “Muslim-Christian football tie scrapped after sex row,” from Reuters:
OSLO (Reuters) – Muslim and Christian leaders in Oslo scrapped a football match meant to foster understanding between religions on Saturday after the imams refused to play a team that included women priests.
The imams said physical contact with women would be inappropriate, NRK public television said, and the Norwegian Christians refused a proposal of a male-only clash. The match was to have followed talks meant to build bridges between faiths in
“Some say that bodily contact is the problem. It leads to special feelings that can lead to something forbidden,” imam Senaid Kobilica told NRK public television in explanation.
A woman priest from Norway’s Lutheran state church, who was part of the Christian team, said that barring women from the pitch would be discrimination.
“It’s disappointing because it means deciding to sacrifice someone from one’s own side — women, who historically are those who have had to give way,” priest Kjersti Oestland Tveit said. “It’s a setback for sexual equality in 2007.”
Her objection prompted the Christian captain to cancel the match. “There are both men and women priests in Oslo, and you can’t have a dialogue in which everyone can take part and then have a game where only men are allowed,” Trond Bakkevig said.