The American Samoa Football Association appealed to players, referees, fans and officials throughout the country to help praise and promote the spirit of fair play on FIFA Fair Play Day which was held at Kanana Fou as part of the International Day of Peace.
Special guests at the event included the Director of Education Malaetele Lui Tuitele and Fiasili Haleck Director of Youth and Women’s Affairs and Rev Tumau Petaia who gave the opening and closing prayers.
The day started with a march past to the FIFA Anthem followed by the stadium announcement of the Fair Play Day by Maselino Tautu and the Fair Play declarations by the captains of the schools participating on the day.
Both Directors gave special remarks to the children, whilst also congratulating the association efforts in developing the local youth at all levels.
To close the ceremony all 120 children conducted a prematch handshake followed by one huge group photo. 3 exciting games between the schools from Leone Midkif, St Teressa and Siliaga and Taputapu concluded and crowned a great day for Football.
FIFA is holding the tenth World Fair Play Day over the week of 18 to 24 September. These dates have been chosen to link this year’s events to another special occasion: the United Nations International Day of Peace (21 September), an invitation to all nations to honour a cessation of hostilities around the world.
The football family therefore wishes to commemorate the International Day of Peace by using the wonderful game and – most notably – its annual Fair Play celebration. This initiative has the personal support of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
” Fair Play is essential to honour sport and to everyone invovled in it,” declared David Brand Football Coordinator of ASFA. “We need to cherish and nurture the values of sporting spirit and work tirelessly to keep up the momentum. We are appealing to all football fans in American Samoa to help us celebrate FIFA Fair Play Day and the International Day of Peace successfully.”
President Blatter recognises the fundemantal role of Fair Play in sport and the need to apply it to all sporting activities. ” Children need strong values to grow up with and football being a team sport, makes them realise how essential discipline, respect, team spirit and fair play are for the game and for life,” he commented. “FIFA’s Fair Play campaign involves much more than simply promoting Fair Play on the pitch during competition. FIFA is committed to encouraging Fair Play in society too, beginning with our future – with children,” he said.
“The most common way of commemorating the International Day of Peace is by observing a moment of silence or holding a special ceremony,” the FIFA President added. `FIFA would like to encourage its member associations to do this by gathering around a football pitch, highlighting the values of Fair Play and reminding the football family of the meaning of peace and the need for commitment to its realisation.”
This is the tenth FIFA Fair Play Day to be celebrated since its introduction in 1997 and the third time that it will be linked to the International Day of Peace. In previous years, activities have been held in dozens of countries around the world, from grass roots to top flight football and in many community based projects.
Story and image courtesy ASFA Media