Representatives from FIFA and the German Football Association have visited Russian memorials to mark the 77th anniversary of the Nazi Germany invasion of the USSR.
President of the German Football Association Reinhard Grindel, who laid a wreath at the Memorial of Glory in Sochi, said that it was a “sign of respect and reverence for the memory of the fallen in battles.”
“We know how important this day is for the Russian people,” Grindel added. “It was the Soviet Union that suffered the most from the war unleashed by Hitler's Germany. There were a lot of victims.
“Now, we are in Russia and play football in Russia. From our side it's a sign of respect and reverence for the memory of the fallen in battles. That's why we came here today with young people. We want to convey to them the idea that the most important thing is that we all live in peace. Mutual understanding and respect for human rights can guarantee it.”
The Battle of Stalingrad, which took place between August 1942 and March 1943, was one of the bloodiest in the war, with as many as two million people losing their lives.
Several memorials are currently taking place across Russia to mark the 77th anniversary of the invasion by Hitler’s forces.