At the kick-off for the 9th Peace Month celebration, the councellor at the Norwegian Embassy in the Philippines, Knut-Are Okstad in his message challenged the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) to adopt Handshake for Peace in the country.
“Peace begins with respect. Friendship begins with respect between two people. Respect begins with you and me. Together we can enjoy the world’s most popular sport – as friends” – Handshake for Peace
This concept was developed through a cooperation between the Nobel Peace Center and the Norwegian Football Association launched this year, involving captains of opposing teams shaking hands after the match.
PFF president Mariano Araneta immediately responded to the challenge, and announced its implementation in the coming international Peace Cup September 25- 29. The Philippines is the second country in the world, after Norway, to adopt this symbolic representation of respect for the opponent at the end of the match.
Now the rest of the world countries must follow, head of marketing and communications in PFF, Richard Joson said.
The FIFA Congress 2012 has already committed to a partnership on Handshake for Peace with the Nobel Peace Center in Norway. This new procedure will be implemented in all upcoming FIFA competitions, including the FIFA Club World Cup in December, next year’s FIFA confederation Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
Victory to the Philippine National team
During the Peace Cup hosted in Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Manila, the four teams who participated; Macau, Chinese Taipei, Guam and the Philippines, met again in the middle and officially shook hands with the opponent before leaving the field.
Despite some matches becoming heated by players and engaged spectators, the teams made courtesy to eachother by conducting the Handshake for Peace.
The Philippine National team won all the three matches and celebrated the victory with enthusiastic spectators cheering on the tribune.