Christians and Muslims are working together for peace – through the medium of football, a British Muslim told a United Nations meeting in Istanbul.
British Pakistani professional footballer Kashif Siddiqi, co-founder of Football for Peace, told the United Nations Alliance of Civilisation how young footballers could be valuable in countering violent extremism among youth.
He was joined by Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder, who plays for Turkish club Galatasaray and was named as one of the three best midfielders in the world by FIFA in 2010, as well as Turkish International player Oğuzhan Özyakup.
Siddiqi was in Istanbul after addressing a conference in Rome last week.
“Football is the one universal language that evaporates language, cultural and religious barriers the world over,” said Siddiqi. “It is fundamentally the greatest way to diffuse tensions and turn down the heat between competing factions.