Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – 13/4/17
On April 12, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; received Mr. Aleksander Čeferin, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President. He was accompanied by Mr. Ruben Hayrapetyan, President of the Football Federation of Armenia.
During the meeting, His Holiness referred to the important role football and sports plays in the mutual recognition and reconciliation between nations, noting with regret that it has also become the target of political manipulation by some forces. His Holiness expressed his condolences to the UEFA President on the occasion of the recent terrorist attack in Germany perpetrated against the Borussia Dortmund team. Condemning the incident, His Holiness stressed that the state and public organizations should make every effort in order to prevent sports from such violence.
His Holiness also expressed his appreciation to UEFA and the Football Federation of Armenia for the joint efforts to establish a football academy and stadium in Vagharshapat.
His Holiness stressed that the Armenian Church also emphasizes the importance of sports, all opportunities are provided at the 10 Armenian Church Youth Centers in Armenian, so that the teenagers exercise and participate in various sports clubs.
During the meeting, UEFA President Čeferin expressed his deep gratitude to His Holiness for the reception, and noted that the history of the Armenian people has left a great impression on him. Čeferin also stressed that sports and football in particular, are called to unite people and not to divide. He also noted that football has great importance in the education and upbringing of the young generation.
At the conclusion, The Armenian Pontiff wished the UEFA President success, and productive cooperation with the Football Federation of Armenia. The UEFA delegation also visited the Mother Cathedral.