"Football brings together people, generations and religions… This is a sport that brings hearts and peoples together."

 President Peres addresses UEFA Congress

 

President Peres (Archive photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

President Shimon Peres today (Thursday), 25.3.10, opened the XXXIV Ordinary UEFA Congress in Tel Aviv, and said – inter alia – that: "Ability is not a gift; it is a process, hard work, training and the development of quality and excellence.  Football brings together people, generations and religions.  If you are fast and good – it does not matter where you came from.  This is the most serious attempt to fight racism.  This is a sport that brings hearts and peoples together."

President Peres referred to the 27 joint Israeli and Palestinian football teams affiliated with The Peres Center for Peace: "For me, as a politician, football is a major contribution to peace.  For the children of both peoples, the game is a way to overcome gaps and prejudices.  Football is the bridge between Israeli and Palestinian children and between the peoples in these difficult times."

Upon his arrival at the Congress, President Peres was welcomed by UEFA President Michel Platini.  President Peres thanked UEFA President Platini for choosing to hold the XXXIV Ordinary UEFA Congress in Tel Aviv.