2008-05-15 13:36:00

The Moscow Patriarchate shares the joy of Russian sport fans over the victory of Zenith in the UEFA Cup final

Moscow, May 15, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church believes that the victory of Zenith in the UEFA Cup final is another indicator of Russia's revival.

"We have reached a success which is remarkable even against the background of the Soviet football achievements. This points to the fact that Russian club football is becoming one of the strongest in Europe," said deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Vsevolod Chaplin to Interfax-Religion, Thursday.

He was watching the game in the Russian Embassy in Rome where he stayed on his business trip at that moment, and according to Fr. Vsevolod, the audience watched football "with a great patriotic upsurge".

Fr. Vsevolod believes that the victory of "Zenith was well-deserved, and grabbed in a very beautiful and dynamic competition of two teams of equal class."

"Therefore, I'd like to share the joy of Russian sport fans and stress that it's not only a matter of scoring goals, rather, it is a matter of Russia's recovering its vital strength, optimism, energy and a hope for the better future and a decent independent place in the world, and this tendency as well manifests itself through the success in sport," said Fr. Vsevolod.