Soccer’s World Cup and the Handshake for Peace

“This partnership will join two of the world strongest brands… This handshake for peace in football is a great initiative, but it should actually be an example not only in football but throughout our entire society.”
–Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President at the 2012 FIFA Congress in Budapest
In a troubling era where war and political conflict have been rampant in many parts of the world, FIFA and the Nobel Peace Center in Norway initiated the Handshake for Peace at all soccer matches during the World Cup as a symbol of friendship and respect, giving players and game officials the opportunity to be role models for peace and good sportsmanship to their fans and the worldwide audience . 
At the conclusion of each match during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ From June 12-July 13, opposing team captains and match referees will exchange the symbolic Handshake for Peace. 
The two organizations rolled out this initiative at their 2012 FIFA Congress in Budapest, and then launched it at the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013, accentuating FIFA’s quest to build a better future through football. 
Nobel Peace Center CEO Bente Erichsen said: “Working with FIFA enables us to reach even further with this message of peace. Millions of people meet through football – across borders, cultures and languages. Football grounds are among the world‘s most important venues for promoting respect, equality and friendship, ideals which have been fundamental to the work of many Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Alfred Nobel intended his legacy to help strengthen the brotherhood of nations. Now the international football community has a unique opportunity to do the same – with a simple action, a handshake for peace.”
“A crucial pillar of FIFA’s mission is to build a better future for all through the power and popularity of football… We believe that, by adopting the Handshake for Peace as part of the match protocol at the 2014 World Cup, FIFA and the global football community can send a strong message of solidarity and peace to the world. We are proud to have joined the Nobel Peace Center on this exciting and powerful campaign.”
–Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President 
“A Journey of Hope,” a documentary on the Handshake for Peace initiative, produced by FIFA and directed by the award-winning British film-maker Stewart Binns, is being broadcast again around the world this week before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
Watch some highlights of the initiative in this four-minute video:

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

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