Blatter to attend Nuit des Neiges
© AFP

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter's social commitment again comes into focus this coming Saturday, 23 February 2008, at the 25th annual Nuit des Neiges (Night of the Snow) charity event, to be held in the customary venue of Crans-Montana in the canton of Valais (Wallis). The charity established by the President of world football's governing body, the "Sepp Blatter Football and Humanity Foundation", is one of the parties involved in the gala highlighting cancer research and football.

Some 500 personalities are scheduled to attend the event, where FIFA President Blatter will be joined by other football VIPs including UEFA President Michel Platini and the Karembeu family. One of the beneficiaries of this year's event is Professor David Khayat's "A.V.E.C." (Association pour la Vie-Espoir contre le Cancer), committed to raising awareness of the continuing need for cancer research funding.

"It is time to gather happiness and pass it on to others," declared Joseph S. Blatter, who established the non-profit "Sepp Blatter Football and Humanity Foundation" to promote football-related projects and support humanitarian activities and institutions in his home canton of Valais. For his part, Professor Khayat had this to say about the upcoming event: "We have to turn to others for support leading to greater understanding and the awakening of new hope." Proceeds from Nuit des Neiges 2008 will be donated to the construction of a centre developing special therapies for cancer research.

"Whenever I travel around the world, I frequently meet players drawn from supposedly opposing groups, who as if by magic develop a common language after playing friendly matches. By playing together they get to know each other, and the shared experience gives them mutual respect. They learn to win, but they also learn the art of losing well. Insofar as football conveys joy and positive experiences, it can show entire peoples the way to a better, more peaceful, more considerate, shared future. My mission is a long way from over yet," Blatter said.

"In the same way that FIFA, the governing body of the world's most popular sport, recognises its social responsibility, I intend to make my contribution via my foundation," continued the FIFA President, whose foundation supports one project each year, after judging the merits of a number of meticulously selected projects in the course of a year. Furthermore, the foundation's prize recognises one exceptional example of commitment to the benefit of sport in Wallis.

In 2006, the CHF 25,000 "Sepp Blatter Football and Humanity Foundation" prize was awarded to the Oberwallis disabled sports project (BSOW). BSOW's wide range of activities has assisted many disabled people in taking up sport, not merely uncovering new talent, but instilling a positive attitude to life of lasting benefit on a day-to-day basis.