Football bridges culture, nations, and religions

Four years ago, Hungary and Iceland played against each another in the European Championships. The match which took place in Marseille, France, ended in a 1:1 draw. Photo: Photo: Ben Sutherland (CC-BY)
Four years ago, Hungary and Iceland played against each another in the European Championships. The match which took place in Marseille, France, ended in a 1:1 draw. Photo: Photo: Ben Sutherland (CC-BY)

Hungarian and Icelandic bishops share joint video message for football play-off

(LWI) - On the occasion of a football match between Hungary and Iceland in the play-offs for the EURO 2020 championships, the Lutheran presiding bishops of the countries have shared a joint video message emphasizing how sport can build bridges and bring people together. The national teams will meet in the Puskás Aréna in Budapest on 12 November.

“Football is an opportunity to show mutual understanding and respect, to fight for human dignity and against all kinds of racism,” Agnes Sigurðardóttir, Presiding Bishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland. Dr. Tamás Fabiny, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary, agrees.

“Football is popular in both our countries,” the bishops say. Four years ago, Hungary and Iceland played against each another in the European Championships. The match which took place in Marseille, France, ended in a 1:1 draw.

The enthusiasm for the sport and the support for a national team should not undermine “our shared responsibility to support Europe and the European cooperation and all people in need during this time of the pandemic,” Fabiny underlines.

“Football can be an exciting and family-friendly amusement, bringing together different generations,” Sigurðardóttir says. “It is not only about competition; it also bridges cultures, nations, and religions.” Many athletes use their fame to denounce racism and emphasize their respect for others, “which can make the world a better place.”

Both bishops will watch the game. “We will both cheer our team and hope for a fair and enjoyable football match,” they say.