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Member Interviews: Aleksander Čeferin

Here are a few highlights from the interview:

On the power of football —

“From a young age I was able to see how football brings people together. When I played as a kid I saw how people who had nothing in common off the field could fight for the same objectives on it. I think football can be a great unifier between people of different backgrounds, cultures, religions… it’s quite amazing actually.”

“Football is played from Albania to Australia, from Benin to Brazil, from Costa Rica to China… it is truly global and it can impact people like no other sport. It is for this reason I believe that football has the potential and the power to change the world for the better. It can teach important values like teamwork, fair play, dedication and discipline; it can also set an example for society by promoting equality, inclusion, accessibility…”

On the future of UEFA —

“Even though UEFA historically always aimed to act in an ethical way and to follow good governance principles, this was never part of its statutes and I felt it should be clear and visible for everyone to see. Our conduct should always be ethical and this move adds accountability and credibility to our organisation.”

“It’s an honour for me to be chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children. The foundation has so many amazing projects around the world where it is helping disadvantaged children and football plays a big part in it. One of these projects is in the Za’atari camp in Jordan where over 1 million refugees are as a result of the conflict in Syria. It was an incredible experience to visit the camp, I will never forget the expression of joy on the kids’ faces when we inaugurated a brand new pitch and played football together. I could see how our sport can inspire people everywhere, even in the toughest places on earth.”

On Common Goal —

“When I found out about Common Goal, I was really impressed about the fact that this movement was started by players. Players who wanted to give back to society. It seemed to me like a very worthy cause and I was interested in finding out more about it.”

“It would be great if in 10 years, time there would be a significant amount of players, coaches, executives and organising bodies supporting a movement like Common Goal. There is strength in numbers and the momentum needs to be sustained to ensure that we help as many people as possible.Who knows, perhaps one day it could be mandatory that every person working in football would have to give 1 % of their salary to social responsibility causes?”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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