|Futbol Club Barcelona President Joan Laporta hands UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman a jersey sporting the logos of the new partnership.|
By Anne-Karine Dabo
NEW YORK, USA, 7 September 2006 – Futbol Club Barcelona kicked off a new global alliance with UNICEF today at a press conference in New York. The partnership, benefiting children across the developing world, will focus on those affected by HIV/AIDS in Swaziland during its first year.
In addition to donating some $1.9 million per year to UNICEF over the next five years, the legendary sports club will feature the UNICEF logo on its 2006-2007 jersey, the first such placement in the club’s 107-year history.
“Barcelona shows us that sports can be a powerful, positive force for children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman during the announcement of the new partnership at United Nations headquarters. “The team has opened a door of hope to thousands of children.”
‘The global dimension of soccer’
Through the work of its foundation, FC Barcelona has an extensive philanthropic history. It has committed itself to social, cultural, educational and humanitarian activities in Catalonia and has expanded internationally during the last few years under the motto, ‘More than a club’.
In keeping with these charitable activities, FC Barcelona’s first-year donation to UNICEF will support programmes in Swaziland aimed at:
“At FC Barcelona, we are aware of the global dimension of soccer,” said club President Joan Laporta. “The increasing number of FC Barcelona supporters and fans around the world in the last few years has been spectacular.
“The club has an obligation to respond to this enormous positive wave,” continued Mr. Laporta. “The best way to do so is by using soccer as a tool to bring hope to millions of vulnerable children in need.”
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