THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

UEFA to mark 100th anniversary of First World War Christmas truce



UEFA is planning to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First World War Christmas truce, when soldiers from the two alliances shared in a spontaneous informal truce, notably by playing football in a field in between the trenches in Flanders in December 1914.

To remember the occasion, UEFA President Michel Platini has invited the heads of state and/or government of the nations involved to commemorate together what is known worldwide as the “Christmas Truce of 1914” on 17 December, the eve of the European Council meeting in Brussels.

The projected venues for the commemorative events are the neighbouring Belgian towns of Ypres and Comines-Warneton – where the informal football game took place.

It is planned for the remembrance ceremony to take place in the St Martin’s Church in Ypres, with the UEFA President addressing those present, and an animated film about the game being shown. UEFA also plans to place a monument in the field where the game took place.

Michel Platini has sent invitations to the heads of state and/or government of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The presidents of these countries’ national football associations will also be invited to the commemoration events.

“This remembrance ceremony,” said Platini, “pays homage to the soldiers who, a century ago, expressed their humanity by coming together to play football, thereby opening an important chapter in the construction of European unity and serving as an example for today’s young people to follow.”

This rare and extraordinary moment of peace and human fraternity – when football emerged as the only common language among men of different nationalities – is considered as one of the first unstructured expressions of the European idea that emerged in concrete form after the Second World War.

Further details about the commemorative events will be revealed in due course.