The "Futsal 2024" championship for priests is coming to Albania for the first time
For the first time in Albania, the European football championship for priests "Futsal" 2024 is taking place, where 17 national teams from all over Europe will compete from February 5-9. The first match was played yesterday in Shkodër between the national team of priests of Albania and those of Croatia. In today's meeting with the Albanian team, the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj expressed his gratitude for their contribution to community service.
"I have respect and gratitude for your work! For all the contribution that our fathers give to the community because they are communities not in the center of Tirana, but in the suburbs, where perhaps the hand of God and your ministry has arrived before the hand of the municipality. Since we share this territory together, I want to say: Thank you! I hope that these days, when over 200 priests and over 17 teams from all over Europe have gathered for this football championship, will be days of peace and brotherhood, when we understand that both football and sports are an analogy for our civil work, but also for your spiritual work", said Veliaj.
He congratulated all 17 teams of priests for the competition, as he emphasized that he feels proud that Tirana ends the sports year with such a championship, which he described as "unusual" and with messages.
"The fact that we have come for this sports activity shows that we are people who have chosen to go down to the field, not to talk from the box. The football field symbolizes going down to the ground, going down to the arena, playing in the community, playing in the team, so this is probably the most beautiful metaphor, especially for Tirana that just closed the year where it was the European City of Sports. I was really heartbroken when Monsignor Dom Arjani gave me this invitation, to close the sports year with an unusual championship, with 17 teams of fathers who have been called to spiritual service. Here I am in a cathedral, in the house of God, which probably does not have the most sophisticated infrastructure in the world, maybe it was built with modest conditions, but when I think of the visit that Pope Francis had to this institution, to this altar, I say that the sanctification and the majesty they give to those who are in ministry, not buildings, but the love and wealth that each of us has in our souls. God bless you!", said Veliaj.
The Albanian team of priests is led by a prominent name in Albanian football, such as coach Armando Cungu. This edition takes place for the first time in Albania, and Shkodra has been chosen as the first city where football was played in our country. This activity, beyond sports, is also an opportunity to promote Albania and its values.