'Football is a symbol of solidarity'
Mikhail Gorbachev, Politician, Chairman of Green Cross International
Honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his contribution to the end of the Cold War, the last president of the Soviet Union (from 1985 to his resignation on 25 December 1991) is now actively involved in protecting the environment. He heads Green Cross International, a non-governmental organisation he set up in Kyoto on 20 April 1993 to build on the work of the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro.
Why did you choose this match to share your views?
If Russia were involved, obviously I would have picked another game. But they're not taking part, so I chose Switzerland because Geneva is the headquarters of Green Cross International - the NGO I have presided over since 1993 and it's a place I go to regularly.
Where did you watch the match and what did you think?
I saw France-Switzerland at home on television. It was an important game for both sides and they looked nervous, which meant the quality of play suffered.
What were the highlights for you and which players stood out?
The biggest moment was without doubt when the Swiss hit France's post from a free-kick. No player really impressed me, but if I had to choose one I'd say (Ludovic) Magnin for the Swiss and, of course, (Zinedine) Zidane for the French.
Did you think the final score was a fair result?
The score was a perfect reflection of the balance between the sides and the quality of play.
Which matches have you watched in the tournament so far?
I saw the opening game between Germany and Costa Rica and France-Switzerland, along with bits from other matches.
Has any team or a particular set of fans caught your attention?
Up until now, the Germans have impressed me the most. I also thought the Australian team were physically and mentally strong, and they can cause a surprise or two. As for the supporters, I like the Dutch a lot. They are always behind their team, always very sporting and always in a good mood.
Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev
Politician, Chairman of Green Cross International
A message, a website you want to promote
Football is not only a wonderful game that unites millions of fans around the world, it is also a modern symbol of solidarity on account of its diversity - irrespective of faith, colour of skin, political commitments and affiliations, people are carried away by this beautiful, emotional and exciting spectacle.
I only wish the same solidarity could be achieved for the prevention and resolution of the environmental problems which both unite and divide the world today. The water crisis which costs millions of human lives every year; the absence of electricity which means one-third of the world's population live literally in the darkness; the massive migration of victims of ecological disasters: these issues are at the heart of the work of Green Cross International, an international non-governmental organisation I founded in 1993. Do not wait for the world to change lead the change, support Green Cross!
Greatest match you have seen:
England 3-2 Cameroon, Italy, 1990
The first FIFA World Cup you followed? Your first idol in the tournament?
England, 1966. Pele.
The FIFA World Cup match would you have most liked to see or to play in:
France 3-0 Brazil, France, 1998
Prediction for the Final:
Brazil 2-1 Germany