UEFA president Michel Platini on Saturday called on players to respect the referees at Euro 2008 as well as their opponents and for fans to accord similar respect to rival teams’ national anthems.
Noting that “Euro 2008 is a sporting and media event of global reach” Platini told UEFA.com that “UEFA thus feels it is important to send out a strong message regarding the social, civic and humanitarian aspect” of the event.
“In future, this campaign will be extended to all UEFA competitions and events. The football family will also send out a message at national and local level that one must respect difference and diversity, which are a source of richness for Europe,” Platini said.
“The party is about to begin,” said Platini, speaking in Basel ahead of the opening match of Euro 2008 between co-hosts Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
“As president of UEFA I am very proud that this tournament is about to begin.”
Platini added that the years of careful preparation by organisers had produced the “best possible conditions for players, spectators and for the media.
“There will be joy and pain but may the best team win and I hope also that football will be the winner,” said Platini, who lifted the trophy with France 24 years ago.
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