Football as a powerful tool that contributes to tolerance, understanding and peace took centre stage during Wednesday’s visit by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter to Sarajevo.
President Blatter presented Bosnia-Herzegovina’s national football team captain Emir Spahic and head coach Safet Susic with the Golden Charter of Sports and Culture of Peace ‘Juan Antonio Samaranch’ on behalf of the International League of Humanists (ILH) during a ceremony held at Sarajevo’s business centre UNITIC.
The FIFA President, himself an ILH member and honorary ambassador, granted the award “as recognition for the contribution made by the national team to the promotion of peace and tolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”
“Throughout the past years we have seen how the national team of Bosnia-Herzegovina has become a symbol of reconciliation and union for the whole country, thus once again demonstrating the powerful role of football in society,” said Blatter.
The ILH is a non-profitable and non-governmental organisation that was established in Philadelphia in 1974 by a group of Nobel Prize winners. In 2002, the entity awarded the title of “International Humanist of the Year” to President Blatter.
During his visit to Sarajevo, the FIFA President also took the opportunity to congratulate the President of the Football Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Elvedin Begic, on the excellent contribution of the national team.
Bosnia-Herzegovina are at the top of Group G in European Zone qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ with two games remaining.