At a solemn ceremony in Split, the president and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was declared the new ambassador of the Plazma Youth Sports Games, thus joining a large family of YSG friends and ambassadors, including: Aleksander Čeferin, Luka Modrić, Luis Figo, Predrag Mijatović, Edin Džeko, Nemanja Matić, Slaven Bilić, Darijo Srna, Mario Stanić, and others.
After another successfully completed competitive season and the international finals held less than a month ago, yesterday Plazma Youth Sports Games held another very important ceremony in Split, where the new ambassador was announced. After Aleksander Čeferin, the president of UEFA, who was announced as an ambassador at a ceremony in Zagreb in 2019, Nasser Al-Khelaifi - a man known in European circles as the president and executive director of Paris Saint-Germain and member of the UEFA Executive Committee was announced as the new ambassador of the Games, in the hall of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Split.
After the welcoming speech of the host city, Mr. Ivica Puljak, through shots from the field during the singing of the anthem of the Games, as well as a special video, all those present had the opportunity to see a small part of what the Games have done during the 26 years of its existence in three countries of the region. The most beautiful sports story gathered more than two and a half million children during all these years, in that manner earning the epithet of the most massive amateur sports event in Europe. Zdravko Marić, president and founder of the Youth Sports Games, did not hide his enthusiasm for the development and popularity of the Games.
"I think that year in year out we have been showing what we can do for children in the entire region. I am using this opportunity to thank everyone who understood the point of this story and who have been working on its promotion all these years. I cannot but single out some people - Predrag Mijatović, who has incredible emotion towards the Games, Aleksander Čeferin, who is always ready to do everything for the Games, then Dario Srna, Slaven Bilić, Mario Stanić, Minister Božinović. I would also like to thank our new ambassador for being with us in this story from today, because with that, we as a project have gained a lot of importance", said the president of the Plazma Youth Sports Games Organizing Committee.
A special recognition for his support throughout all the years of existence was awarded to the legendary football coach Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, who, “regardless of his age” in his own words, was present at the ceremony pointing out that sports have always brought people together, and that the Youth Sports Games are the most beautiful project that has happened in our region.
Compliments to the new ambassador Mr. Al-Khelaifi were expressed through video messages by the ambassadors of the Games: Luka Modrić, Luis Figo, Goran Ivanišević, Johannes Hahn (European Commission Commissioner for Budget and Administration) and Arkadiy Dvorkovich (World Chess Organization), and the official welcome to the YSG family from Alexander Ceferin. In his speech, the new ambassador emphasized that we must all try to create a better future for all children through sports.
"Youth sports games are very important for all of us. The first time I met Zdravko, I accepted the invitation to be a part of this story. This is a fantastic project that we have all supported and will continue to support. Here you can see how much sport brings children together and how powerful it is. This is a project we are doing for our future. There are so many opportunities to expand to other countries. I'm only here now, but I will certainly present the project to all the stars in my club. Now that job is on me", said Nasser Al-Khealifi, the new ambassador of the Plazma Youth Sports Games.
The ceremony was attended by numerous guests from the sports, political and economic life, as well as representatives of sponsors, including: Davor Božinović, Deputy Prime Minister and representative of the Prime Minister, Aleksander Čeferin - President of UEFA, Tomislav Družak - representative of the Minister of Tourism and Sports, City of Split representatives headed by the mayor Mr. Ivica Puljak, Marijan Kustić - president of the Croatian Football Association, Goran Lulić - representative of the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Victoriya Boklag, Tomislav Mamić, Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, Stipe Pletikosa, Predrag Mijatović, Darijo Srna and Sergej Palkin as representatives of Shakhtar Donetsk, Mario Stanić, Slaven Bilić, Nemanja Vidić, Dejan Tomašević, Lukša Jakobušić and Mindaugas Nikoličius as representatives of HNK Hajduk, as well as many other guests from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
The one-hour ceremony was broadcasted live on N1, Sportklub 1 and Arena sport 1 channels in seven countries.