IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

The Peace Cup

Though I follow a number of sports (basketball, golf and to some extent baseball, tennis and American football) I am not very well informed about footbal (ie soccer)–in fact, what I know comes primarily from my wife, who is a huge fan.   Anyhow, I just noticed that the Peace Cup for 2009 is underway, and I thought to myself “hmmm, what’s that about?”.

Well Wikipedia explains that:

“Since 2003 the Peace Cup is being held every two years, the Sunmoon Peace Football Foundation invites football clubs from various nations. South Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma participates in every tournament as both the club and foundation are sponsored by the same organiztion, the Unification Church. From 2003 to 2007, the Peace Cup was played between eight clubs, divided into two groups of four teams. The winner of each group qualified for the final, which was played in a single match.”

If you look around the Cups site (linked above) you will get a sense of the various effortts to promote peace associated with the Cup.   For instance, on the “Introduction” page The Chairman of the Peace Cup organizing committee, Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak says the following:

“The motivation behind the competition is to create a platform to showcase the very best of football being connected to the larger purpose of peace and development.  Clearly we understand that playing football cannot create peace when there is on-going actual conflict and that football, as with other sports, can be and has been wrongly used.

But we are completely convinced that with the right educational aspects being incorporated into the footbal experience FIFA President Joseph Blatter’s words will come true that, “Even if you can’t turn every child into a talented player, you can’t help but turn them into better people.” ”

An associated organization, The Peace Dream Foundation , seems to be doing a number of things along the lines of “bringing people together through football”, and that makes perfect sense to me, particularly among young people from rival communities.  On this page, under the heading “Peace Dream Message”  you can see a number of statements by prominent people about the importance of the Cup and the Foundation (there are also some of these on the Cup’s page, but they seem to be in Spanish).

I “get” this, I think.  Peace has to start and exist on the grass roots level to be long lasting.  Sports operate on all levels of society–from the local football club to Real Madrid–so it makes sense to me to link the two to promote the values of peace.

(P.S. Starting tomorrow I’ll be away on vacation for some days, so my posting might be a bit erratic till the second week of August)


July 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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