Among the decisions taken on the second day of the FIFA Congress 2012 in Budapest has been the commitment to a partnership with the Nobel Peace Centre, one that will see the introduction of a new procedure known as the ‘Handshake for Peace’.
With this new protocol, the referee and team captains will now not only shake hands before the match starts, but meet again at the same place on the pitch directly after the final whistle, closing the game with the ‘Handshake for Peace’. “This partnership will join two of the world strongest brands,” said FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter. “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.”
The new procedure will be implemented in all upcoming FIFA competitions including the FIFA Club World Cup in December, next year’s FIFA Confederation Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Kalusha Bwalya, the former Zambia star and current president of the Zambian Football Federation, took to the stage to support the move. He said: “Football should be used in this way because its huge popularity can help develop an even better spirit in the game. I really hope and believe this new initiative will help in that sense.”
Bente Erichsen, the executive director of the Nobel Peace Centre, also spoke about the partnership and, after reminding the audience that FIFA and the Nobel Peace Centre have much in common, said the agreement “can be a start for a close and solid relationship, with huge potential”. She added: “I hope we can implement and develop programs of education. I’m sure this partnership can contribute to the good of the game and develop respect. Because symbols can change attitudes, we think shaking hands at the end of the game can be a great example for youngsters.”