I'm aware football still has its issues. Lots of them. From a communications perspective, I could write a book on what it needs to do to change its reputation. But I'm also aware of the good stories that can be told about the sport. 

One example is that of Tomer Hemed and Beram Kayal's story, thrust into the spotlight recently following Brighton and Hove Albion's successful promotion to the Premier League. 

As the BBC states, the two players are best friends from Israel. Kayal is an Israeli-Arab "who reads passages from the Qu'ran before matches, Hemed is a Jew who goes to synagogue every Friday evening." 

Football has been and continues to be the thing that brings them together. The common perception of football is that of clashes between fans, of division, racism, prejudice in all forms. I'm not so naive to think this isn't a version of the truth, but it's not the whole truth, it's just the one most people want to read about.

There will always be misguided doubters of football's ability promote respect, but the positive story of football is one that needs to be told more often. 

Listen to Mani Djazmi's interview with the two players on the link below.