The Vatican is presenting a conference on sport and faith to world leaders from Wednesday to Friday in Rome.
Among attendees at the conference is soccer player and co-founder of the "Football for Peace" initiative, Kashif Siddiqi.
Soccer player and cofounder, Football for Peace
"Sports diplomacy has a unique capacity to unite people and I really believe that a platform like 'Sport at the Service of Humanity' is a platform that is much needed today in this world especially to exchange dialogue and unite people from all different backgrounds.”
CARDINAL GIANFRANCO RAVASI
President Pontifical Council for Culture
"We need to return to when we used sports as a moral instrument. We need to go back to the ethics of sports because it's both a moral and spiritual principle.”
Pope Francis will initiate the kickoff ceremony in the Paul VI Audience Hall with the Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon and IOC President Thomas Bach in attendance.
MSGR. MELCHOR SÁNCHEZ DE TOCA
Pontifical Council for Culture
"The idea was to create the occasion for religious leaders, sports people, businesses and media to meet and to talk to each other and to learn from each other.”
Olympic medalists, Kirsty Coventry and Loretta Claborne, will participate in the meetings in order to talk about values such as balance, respect, compassion and love for both faith and sports.
On Friday, rugby players Sean Fitzpatrick, from All Blacks of New Zealand, and Hugo Porta, from Argentina, are scheduled to talk.
In addition, there will be a panel discussion led by sports team presidents, like John K. Mara from the New York Giants on how sports can help increase faith.