Sports Diplomacy: Defining the Series

di·plo·ma·cy (noun)

the art, practice and skill of handling affairs in maintaining good relations with all without arousing hostility


World Sports Events in 2014The year 2014 heralds to be a banner year for international sports competitions around the world. Earlier in the year, we celebrated the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and now on the heals of the 20th FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the XX Commonwealth Games commence tomorrow in Glasgow, Scotland.  All these large sporting events are opportunities for improving human relations through diplomacy in sports – realizing the power of sports to affect change and PEACE building through sports and culture.

Sports Diplomacy - IM Screen shotIsmailimail prepared these special Sports Diplomacy series with that view in mind, to share inspiring views and actions from around the world, stemming from the encounter of people, places, soccer and everything in between. Here you will read about those stories that bring people together, binding them together in victory or defeat, sharing their moments of joy and sorrow – laughter and tears, strengthening the human fraternity with friendship and service. This dominant impulse of kinship and love for one another is what being human is all about.

We hope you find these series inspiring as we did in producing them!

Yesterday, I visited the magnificent new Aga Khan educational institution. I was shown enough of its work to convince me that this school compared with the finest in the world.


One event which I witnessed was a boxing match between two Ismaili boys — one African, one Asian. I saw a good fight and at the end I think each of them thought he had won. Perhaps both were right!


To me, this friendly contest reflected something of tremendous importance to our community. It reflected first the qualities of determination and endurance which are demanded by our faith.

These qualities are also necessary to the future leaders of the community and for the country as a whole.


At the end of this sporting event, the two boys shook hands and stood together to be photographed.


To me this symbolised the partnership between different races which I am convinced is the only condition of peace and prosperity.”


– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims

Takht Nashini (Enthronement) Ceremony, Kampala, Uganda, October 25, 1957


His Highness the Aga Khan during soccer practice at Harvard (Image – Life Magazine)
His Highness the Aga Khan during soccer practice at Harvard (Image – Life Magazine)

His Highness the Aga Khan during soccer practice at Harvard (Image – Life Magazine)
His Highness the Aga Khan during soccer practice at Harvard (Image – Life Magazine)

A. Discover the Sports Diplomacy Series:

1. Altaf Hirani’s Tanzania based team brings home the Street Child World Cup from Rio!

2. FIFA World Cup 2014, VISA & 32 Countries inspires you to discover Samba
3. IYSC builds the next generation of talent everywhere, “Fostering Stars of the Future”
4. Reminiscing Salim-Sulaiman’s inspiring “Africa – You’re the Star” 2010 FIFA World Cup anthem
5. Reminiscing the Golden Jubilee Games: Celebration Through Sport – “Goal Saving Ovation”
6. Roshan unites Afghanistan through Soccer – “Nazdiq Shodhan”
7. North American Ismaili Games 2014: Jamats strengthening bonds of friendship through competition and seva
8. Timeless Truth of the FIFA World Cup: Kinship not Conquest

B: Explore the Retrospective Series:

1. Aga Khan and Soccer

2. Aga Khan and Ice Hockey


Sports Diplomacy

Aga Khan


Jubilee Games & Ismaili Games


Ismaili Impact




Inspiring Stories


Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali

2 thoughts

  1. Ismailimail should be praised for the efforts they are making through articles on Sports Diplomacy with a view to bring about happiness and fraternal ties between the players of different countries. Mubarak to Ismailimail Management.


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