BFA Celebrates ‘Peace One Day’ This Weekend

September 20, 2013

The Bermuda Football Association today [Sept 20] said that it “stands in union with all Bermudians and those around the World in recognizing September 21st as ‘Peace One Day’.”

A spokesperson said, “This observance is significant in that it provides another reminder for us as a country to recognize that respect for humanity, for each other is paramount to maintaining social stability for Bermuda.

“Football, with its characteristic round shape symbolizes that very same shape of the Globe. The ball is held together in patch work much like the way nations and regions and faraway lands are connected to one another. As the ball rolls and spins during a football match so too does the Globe turn on its axis! Should football cease to exist, should the Globe stop spinning so too would life!

“Legendary Liverpool football coach Bill Shankly once said, “Some people believe that football is a matter of life and death. “I am very disappointed with that attitude” he said, “It is much, much more important than that.”

“Against this backdrop, football as seen by many has an important role in contributing to the stability of our Island home. Everyone recognizes the struggles impacting our shores, the negative outcomes of these struggles and the unfortunate lost of life as a result.

“Today, we reach out to you with the message from Bill Shankly that football is really more than just a game. Football is the “Game of Life” and a tool to guide people both young and old toward greater levels of peace and tolerance.”

“Every facet of football in its purest form mirrors many of the ideals that each person innately strives to achieve throughout the course of their lives. For example, in football there is teamwork, cooperation, respect for your team mates and opponents, there are rules that govern our participation such as the rules that contribute to social stability.

“There is artistry and fantasy much like what each a person dreams about from time to time. There are moments of struggle in a match such as when the opponent has you under pressure and joy when a goal is scored or disappointment after losing a match. These are the same emotions that we experience everyday of our lives.

“The question we asked is how should we respond? How do we react or deal with such emotions. Today, we say through Peace. It is true that football over time has shown its strength in de-escalating conflict and violent situations. This is the power of football. However, we must also recognize that football is a contact activity played in the spirit of combative sportsmanship that must be respected in accordance with the principles of fair play.

“Neil Stormer in his article entitled “More than a game” stated that organizations that promote understanding through sport see in them an unrivaled ability to overcome cultural, political, and religious difference while promoting unity and understanding.” He goes on to say that “those who play together find it difficult to remain foes.”

“As a show of our unquestioned support for any initiative aimed a promoting Peace in our communities the Bermuda Football Association invites all clubs, players, coaches and other team personnel, referees, administrators, fans and all others who believe in Peace to join with us in making this day our symbolic gesture of striving for Peace.

“We are dedicating each one of our matches to be played on Saturday, September 21st and Sunday, September 22nd under the theme “Peace One Day.”

“Therefore, recognizing that white is the symbolic color of peace we are asking all fans to come to the match in their favorite white jersey or white shirt and join the players and members of both teams prior to the start of the match in our “RING OF HOPE FOR PEACE,” which is the center circle in the middle of the field to observe a moment of reflection for all those who have lost their lives through violent actions, who struggle everyday with conflict, and who have not found the strength to rid themselves of violent behaviors which only destabilizes their families and their community.

“We invite all area MP’s and other civic leaders on this day to go to their area club ahead of kick-off and add their presence to this day of Peace.

“We close with one final word from Neil Stormer, “No one seriously contends that football is more important than life or death, but if applied to more serious pursuits, it can mean the difference between war and peace.”

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Category: All, Sports