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UNICEF Representative Hanaa Singer and General Secretary of AFFA Elkhan Mammedov shake hands after signing Memorandum of Understanding.

UNICEF and the Azerbaijan Association of Football Federations will use the power of football to address girls and boys nationwide

BAKU, 14 September 2007 - UNICEF and the Azerbaijan Association of Football Federations (AFFA), governing soccer body in the country, today officially kick off their partnership by signing a joint Memorandum of Understanding. The goal is to harness the power of football in order to increase participation of excluded and disadvantaged boys and girls in sport, to promote awareness of healthy life styles, life skills among children and young people and to promote sport participation for girls nationwide.
AFFA and UNICEF are joining forces to implement a joint campaign that has several components, including:

  •  Joint training courses for football school coaches aimed at expanding the number of female coaches competent to work with excluded and disadvantaged boys and girls;
  •  Master-classes by famous football players for children from under-privileged families in the rural districts, IDP camps and institutions;
  •  Community mobilization in organization and facilitation of community sports activities and events;
  •  Using woman athletes as role models as advocates for girls in sports and jointly start public start awareness campaigns on promoting girls’ participation in sport.

“We believe in the power of football. We believe that sport helps children not only to grow physically strong, it also helps to build the confidence and self-esteem that will serve them throughout their lives,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan. “Sport is one of the most powerful ways to teach young people to play fair, it also teaches respect to opponents, team work, tolerance and integrity. It helps young people to reject corruption, drugs, violence and other dangerous behaviors,” she said.

“AFFA is pleased to cooperate with UNICEF through a number of different activities and events that will both raise the visibility and popularity of football and contribute to awareness on healthy life-style among youth. Definitely, it will also contribute to attracting girls to play football,” said Elkhan Mamedov, the General Secretary of AFFA. “This partnership is important to AFFA, as it is not only about football, but sport and development in general.”

The joint work between UNICEF and AFFA will be built on the partnership between UNICEF and FIFA globally – since 2001 the two organizations have teamed up, using the world’s most popular sport to prevent children from being recruited as child soldiers, inform them about the dangers of HIV/AIDS through education and discussion, and promote education for girls, among many other objectives. 

For further information please contact:

Ayna Mollazade
UNICEF Communication Officer
Tel:  99412 492 3013
Fax: 99412 492 2468                                                       

Mikayil Guliyev, AFFA PR Manager
Tel: 994 12 490 87 21/23
Fax: 994 12 490 87 22 



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