The Romanian Football Federation (FRF), in partnership with the Department for Interethnic Relations organized three days of events entitled Diversity Cup, dedicated to the cultural and ethnic pluralism.

The events started Friday, October 21, at the headquarters of the Romanian Football Federation, with the opening of photography and visual art exhibitions attended by deputies Zsolt Molnar and Giureci Slobodan Ghera. The Department for Interethnic Relations was represented by Secretary of State Amet Aledin and Under-Secretary of State Lacziko Enikö and the Romanian Football Federation by Florin Șari and Diana Pirciu.

"The House of Football was last weekend a welcoming host for visual arts and photography, proving once more that football is a social phenomenon able to integrate and promote values. Both football and art are forms of expressing the respect for other people, freedom, equality of chances and meritocracy. We are particularly happy that we were able to host this auspicious union of football and arts, especially that the Diversity Cup celebrates the most valuable asset of our society: its people”, said Florin Şari, FRF's Social Responsibility and Good Governance Manager.

The event was received with interest by the audience of 100 and ended with the draw for the football championship of minorities for which 10 teams lined up. They were split into two groups of 5 teams each: Greeks, Hungarians, Serbians, Turks and Ukrainians in Group A and Lipovan Russians, Croatians, Italians, Tatars and Ruthenians in Group B.

The Tatars won the final against the Hungarians

The football championship opened Saturday on the synthetic turf of the National Football Complex in Buftea. The matches of the group phase were very spectacular and dominated by fair play. Although the teams fought for each ball, the games were free from violent incidents or injuries.

The current champions, the Tartar team (left photo) qualified for the semifinals after winning all the group matches, while the Hungarians (right photo) won Group A. The other semifinalists were decided by the goal difference, with the Greeks outdoing the Ukrainians and the Croatians overcoming the Lipovan Russians.

The semifinals were played Saturday, at the same venue, and the Hungarians beat the Croatians 1-0, while the Tartars defeated the Greeks 4-1. The Tartars defended the title won last year, after beating the Hungarians 2-0 in the final, while the Croatians scored a 3-2 victory over the Greeks in the third place play-off. 

The events also included, on Saturday, a debate on preventing and eliminating racism from sports and on ways to promote the sharing of best practices in fighting discrimination held at the House of Football, attended by former sports commentator Ionel Stoica, former international football player Tibor Selymeş, FRF's Social Responsibility and Good Governance Manager Florin Şari and Deputy Giureci Slobodan Ghera.

According to former sports commentator Ionel Stoica, now retired, the Romanian football flourished in the period when players from national minorities were in the national team. In this respect, he referred to the squad that participated in the 1994 US World Cup. Former international football player Tibor Selymes referred to his career as a member of the national football team and said that he felt honored to wear the Romanian jersey.

The Diversity Cup was included by UEFA in the Captains of Change program, which promotes diversity and innovative projects seeking to extend football to the largest possible number of players who would not be normally enrolled in regular competitions.

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