On 22 March, Brussels was hit by terrible terrorist attacks, which to this day impact the city. Two days later on 24 March Johan Cruyff died, a world player with a social heart who brought people of different background together through his sport, football.
On the basis of these events Orange in Brussels (OiB) has taken the initiative to contribute to peace, brotherhood and tolerance in Brussels. We have been given by Johan Cruyff and other international sports heroes that sport connects and unites. Sports is a way to get to know each other and to play together according to agreed rules of the game.
The conversations with the commune of Molenbeek were very positive and meanwhile the Royal Belgian – and Dutch football association (Worldcoaches), the Johan Cruyff Foundation, Cedar Network, La Mannschaft (Germany), L’EIFE (France), BXL Euroleague, CLES Molenbeek and BrusselsPlay4Peace initiative became partner in the initiative. And more will follow.
- The Commune of Molenbeek and OiB agreed that a football match is going to be played on the 11th June 2016 between the Dutch team in Brussels (OiB) and a Belgian team from Molenbeek
- It is also discussed that the football game can also be the start of a jointly formulated ‘challenge’ for the coming year. Decision making will take place on this proposal in Brussels (commune of Molenbeek). The challenge is to work together to realize a Cruyff Court in Brussels and train 15-20 young people from Molenbeek in coaching
Why a football game and a joint “challenge”?
Sport in General and football in particular is an excellent tool to bridge communication – and cultural differences. In football mutual respect is key and it’s a way to show that people can be proud of their origin and culture without having to isolate themselves from the rest of society in which they live.
Via the jointly formulated challenge we connect Dutch – and Belgian organisations as well as all inhabitants of Brussels for a year to the same purpose. Within this year young people will be trained in coaching (JCF/ KBVB/ KNVB Worldcoaches rules and life skills) and they can practice these skills as ambassadors in their communities.
What do we want to achieve?
To bring in motion a positive development in Brussels and in doing so contribute to integration and make a statement against terrorism, bringing together people of different background and connect them to a joint challenge. The football game constitutes the starting point for combined activities to achieve the agreed challenge together. With these efforts we contribute to more dialogue (talking with each other instead of about one another) and more solidarity in the city.
The following initiatives (within a year) are shaping the challenge. It is clearly the objective to involve the people of Brussels and in particular the citizens of the municipality Molenbeek. Johan Cruyff Foundation, KNVB Worldcoaches, KBVB, OiB, BrusselsPlay4Peace, The Cedar Network, et cetera, offer Brussels and in particular the Molenbeek to participate in the following challenge:
- Establish the first Cruyff Court in Brussels (within a year, preferably in commune of Molenbeek)
- Training of young people from the commune of Molenbeek in coaching (according to the principles of the Johan Cruyff Foundation and a joint programme of the Belgian- and Dutch football association (life skills). The coaches are trained by JCF/ KBVB/ KBVB Worldcoaches (Brussels, Amsterdam). The coaches are the ambassadors for Molenbeek. They lead by example on collaboration and playing together on the Cruyff Court(s) and in their communities.
- The football match in the commune of Molenbeek will be the starting point for the crowdfunding campaign. Also the UEFA/FIFA will be involved as well as BE/NL organisations and companies. It is also the desire that the people of Brussels also participate in this initiative. The cost for realisation of a Cruyff Court will be around 100,000 euro. This money will be raised via fundraising, population, partners and multiple activities.
Additional idea for the Brussels region and the city of Brussels. Develop a World Soccer Cup Brussels (in 2017, perhaps under the flag of BrusselsPlay4Peace), for example, similar to the World Cup Amsterdam, through sport and competition the various “bubbles” in Brussels are connected and united (examplehttp://www.wknederland.nu/toernooi/ ). The winner of the competition will receive a replica of the Atomium (symbol of Brussels, bubbles connected by paths of sport and communication).