FIFA President Joseph Blatter delivers a speech at the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014 gala held at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 (Photo: AP)
FIFA president Sepp Blatter paid tribute to the victims of last week's terror attacks in France, telling Monday's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in Zurich that "this evening we are all a little bit French".
The Swiss head of world football said: "In our world so disturbed, often hostile and violent, I will say only one thing this evening..and in French: We do not yet know the true power of peace, nor the true power of football.
"This evening we are all a little bit French, which only increases our sympathy for our neighbours who have been so deeply scarred by the violent events of recent days. So allow me to repeat my appeal of peace and tolerance”.
Blatter was speaking in response to the Islamist killing spree which left 17 people dead in France last week.
The Swiss noted that Monday's ceremony to crown the world player of the year had its roots in France.
"If this evening has a touch of France about it, it's because the Ballon d’or first saw the light of day in France. Let us not forget that it was created in 1956 by my friends at France Football (magazine).
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