2008-06-27 14:19:00

Church persuades Russian sport fans that the country's grandeur doesn't depend on its football victories or losses

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, June 27, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church urges Russian football fans "to keep cool."

"It was a great game of our footballers. Their result is a breakthrough of Russian football and we all can congratulate each other on it," head of the Sakhalin Diocese missionary department Archpriest Viktor Gorbach told an Interfax-Religion correspondent.

The priest confessed that being an Orthodox missionary he often communicated with teens and young people and saw how emotionally they reacted to the game of the Russian football team.

"I think it's not so much their love to a certain sport as their desire to see Russia great in everything. This patriotic feeling is understandable, explicable and arouses sympathy. Bur we should remember that the country's grandeur doesn't depend on its football victories and losses," the interviewee of the agency noted.

The missionary department head believes there is "very serious emotional overheat" in attitude to the Russia's results in Euro-2008.

According to the priest, "disruptive and sometimes inadequate reaction of fans to the results of football matches up to frankly hooligan actions shows not quite correct life priorities of young people as they don't realize what is really important and significant. It's necessary to keep in mind that football is only a sport game, though very showy and popular," Fr. Viktor stressed.