13 April 2009 - Belgrade, Serbia
For the first time in 18 years, after the disintegration of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, CISM brought together soldiers of all six countries of the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia on the sports field in their former capital - Belgrade.
This initiative was started only 3 years ago, when the CISM Secretary General Colonel van Meurs came up with the idea of uniting soldiers who have been facing each other on the battle field just few years ago. Though it took time and a lot of effort, step by step as the project evolved, every year more countries participated in these activities, till, in 2009, CISM fully succeeded in the Sport for Peace initiative. All six countries Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia participated in the CISM-FIFA Futsal Cup, organized by the Serbian Armed Forces in Belgrade, from 13-18 April 2009, and kindly sponsored by FIFA (International Association of Football Federations).
Serbia, the host country, and especially their Minister of Defence, Mr. Dragan Sutanovac, were extremely delighted to see soldiers of six countries, in their military uniforms and with their respective flags, marching onto the field during the opening ceremony. The teams, standing side by side, were greeted by the Serbian authorities and received a warm welcome from the CISM Secretary General, Colonel Michel van Meurs.
It must be underlined that the CISM-FIFA Futsal tournament was characterized by a very positive and special atmosphere. Before each game, the teams shook hands, exchanged gifts and posed for group photographs. Although every team was eager to win, good sportsmanship and respect were always the leading idea. This is what only sport can do - bring soldiers together in friendship spirit.
Indeed, the CISM motto "Friendship through sport" became a reality in practice. The main objective of the project was achieved, as it is genuinely contributing to strengthening multilateral relations and the stabilization of peace in the region.
This CISM-FIFA Futsal Cup is an important step in history of this region and it is a great success of CISM.
Congratulations to Croatia for winning the first cup of the CISM-FIFA Futsal tournament. The next year this “Sport for Peace” event will be organized by Croatia in Zagreb.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Macedonia 6-6
Serbia Slovenia 3-3
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Croatia 1-3
Serbia Montenegro 1-0
Macedonia - Croatia 2-3
Slovenia - Montenegro 5-2
5/6 place: Bosnia and Herzegovina - Montenegro 1-3
3/4 place: Serbia Macedonia 5-1
1/2 place: Slovenia - Croatia 1-6
6. Bosnia and Herzegovina