connected the world. As our world continues to be polarized by extreme views and beliefs, football can mend our deflated hearts and hope. The love of the game has broken many boundaries in the past, and we must utilize football to change the narrative from hate to love. More than anytime in our human history, we need coaches, players, administrators, and fans to promote peace, unity and tolerance in every dialogue. We need to speak and practice against violence. All people are born equal, may live different lives, but they share common dreams on our beloved planet.

 

I have lived and worked in three continents in my lifetime, and I have witnessed first hand football can bring the best and the worst in people. At this moment in time, we need football to be at its very best. The beautiful game must set the example of equality, transparency, and tolerance- Equality regardless of race, nationality and gender, financial transparency at all levels, and tolerance for all religious beliefs and differences.

 

After the senseless acts of violence against innocent people in Paris and Brussels, our sport has a unique opportunity to show leadership with compassion and intelligence. With European championship held this summer in France, we have a platform to unite Europe with the rest of the world watching.

 

John Lennon said it best, “Imagine all the people…Living life in peace…You may say I’m a dreamer…But I’m not the only one…I hope someday you’ll join us…And the world will be as one“

 

One game, one love, on one planet…

 

With Great Affection,

 

Afshin Ghotbi

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