By Ken Reed

On the eve of the 2014 World Cup, Pope Francis recorded a video message that was broadcast on television across Brazil.

It should also be broadcast on television in every country across the globe.

Francis focused on sport as a tool to promote peace and solidarity around the world. In particular, he said soccer (football) teaches three important lessons that can promote peace and solidarity: 1) the need to train and work hard to reach goals; 2) the importance of fair play and teamwork; and 3) the need to respect and honor opponents.

He expressed hope that the World Cup would be a “festival of solidarity between peoples” and exclaimed “No to segregation! No to racism!”

Francis also spoke about the evils of ego and greed.

“To win, we must overcome individualism, selfishness, all forms of racism, intolerance, and manipulation of people,” said Francis. He talked about how being “greedy” in football, as in life, is an obstacle.

He also said sport is a great vehicle for bringing people together and communicating the value of teamwork, stating:

“Sport is not only a form of entertainment, but also — and above all I would say — a tool to communicate values that promote the good that is in humans and help build a more peaceful and fraternal society.”

May the world heed his call during this World Cup — and beyond.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.