Menssge of Joseph S. Blatter - President of FIFA

Message of Joseph S. Blatter for the book Football and Peace in the World

Football to the service of Peace

Pace is something to be treasured. After all, we all crave it. Unfortunately, nobody seems to take responsibility for it. It is always a case of ‘let someone else do something for peace. In many ways, we even believe ourselves to be innocent bystanders.

Why should that be? Why do we do so little for something that is so important to us? Maybe because peace requires virtues that we seldom display in our day-to-day lives: patience, understanding for our fellow man, tolerance, compassion, and forgiveness and sacrifice in particular.

Peace begins within all of us. We must all be willing to show these virtues in our daily lives and in society in general. Keeping the peace involves actively seeking dialogue when confrontation raises its ugly head. Peace is not merely the polar opposite of war; it is a conscious decision to renounce anything that could harm the mind, body or soul of a fellow human being. Peace is harmony and active solidarity, because if the strong do not show solidarity with the weak, we simply cannot foster or keep the peace.

In this respect, football can –and must- lead the way. More than 250 million people actively take part in our sport. But if we also count their closest family members and friends, then football directly touches more than one billion people all around the world. Thanks to its universal nature, football unites people of all genders, colour and religion. Football, like no other sport, was always destined to show solidarity and thereby strengthen society as a whole, with even the deadliest of enemies coming together on the football pitch after the fiercest of battles.

We all have to use the medium of football to send a powerful, common message for peace. This book will carry that message to the whole world, and it will help to show that our sport can make this world a better and more peaceful place for all of us.

Joseph S. Blatter
President of FIFA