Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

September 5, 2004


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle and His Grace Bishop Irinej of Nis received the members of the Serbia and Montenegro national football (soccer) team and the heads of the Football League in the Patriarch’s residence in Belgrade.

The reason for this gathering of the best football players under the roof of the Serbian Patriarchate is an upcoming match proposed by “Blues” selector Ilija Petkovic between the top representation and a reporters’ choice selection. The entire proceeds of the game will go toward the restoration of Chilandar Monastery.

Patriarch Pavle welcomed his guests and emphasized that it is possible and necessary to adhere to evangelical principles in sports and to fight nobly, especially when representing our people and state before others. His Holiness also expressed praise for the willingness of our football players to help in the repair of Chilandar and demonstrating that although some of them live and work in other countries they have not forgotten their identity, their roots and their affiliation.

On behalf of all the players, Serbia and Montenegro Football League president Dragan Stojkovic thanked Patriarch Pavle for receiving them and for his wise advice. He emphasized that the destruction of the dormitories of Chilandar Monastery on March 4 of this year was a difficult blow to them all and that their desire was to help the restoration by doing what they did best, which is playing football, as well as by hopefully encouraging others to join in the Gift for Chilandar campaign.

Mr. Stojkovic presented His Holiness with a Serbia and Montenegro Football League pin and the team captain, Mr. Savo Milosevic, presented him with a football bearing the signatures of the entire team and an official uniform. Patriarch Pavle presented all the football players with a copy of the Holy Scripture.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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