We are disappointed to have learned from the media about the Nobel Peace Center’s intent to terminate the cooperation with FIFA on the Handshake for Peace initiative. FIFA is reluctant to accept this unilateral approach on what is a joint initiative between the football community and the Nobel Peace Center (NPC). This action does not embody the spirit of fair play especially as it obstructs the promotion of the key values of peace-building and anti-discrimination.
NPC CEO Bente Erichsen stressed in a telephone conversation with FIFA President Blatter this morning that the NPC continued to believe in this initiative and hoped it would live on in football with FIFA.
In 2012, the 209 member associations at the FIFA Congress decided to implement and promote the initiative and this commitment was reconfirmed at the 65th Congress last month. It is important to clarify that Handshake for Peace represents an agreement between the NPC and the global football community.
Over the past few months, FIFA, the Norwegian Football Association and the Nobel Peace Center have had ongoing discussions on how best to proceed with this important initiative. And these discussions continue.
The Handshake for Peace will remain as an integral part of the match protocol at the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada as scheduled and at future competitions.
The Handshake for Peace initiative combines football’s international reach with the simple gesture of a handshake to promote peace and fair play. At FIFA’s tournaments players and officials use the Handshake for Peace to set a good example in front of both the fans inside the stadium and the wider public watching games on television.