Trujillo, 16 September 2005 - Trujillo, a city on Peru’s northern coast, was the site of the launch of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup Peru 2005. The Mansiche Stadium was in a party mood, celebrating the beginning of this international sporting event, which brought together sixteen of the world’s best youth teams.
Several groups of men and women dressed in Peruvian costumes danced along to appreciative applause. The FIFA-UNICEF campaign “Los chicos siempre ganan / Children always win” was part of the spectacle. Thirty-five teenagers, wearing the campaign’s t-shirt, danced to hip-hop music, carrying the sixteen flags of the participating countries and “Los chicos siempre ganan” banners.
Mr. Jack Warner, Vice President of FIFA and President of the U-17 organizing committee was present at the U-17 World Cup inauguration, as well as Mr. Arturo Woodman, President of the U-17 local organizing committee, and UNICEF Peru Representative Andrés Franco.
“Girls and boys represent their countries not only when they hoist their flags, or play in football matches”, said Franco. “They also do so off the pitch — in the struggle of their daily lives; with their families and friends; in their communities. That is what FIFA and UNICEF want to emphasize with this campaign.”
During the contest, FIFA and UNICEF will help to give a voice to the youth of Chiclayo, Trujillo, Iquitos, Piura and Lima, the five cities where the games will be played. In each city, young people will present their ideas and proposals to high-ranking officials from each region.
There will also be a series of five round-tables between players from the teams and youth leaders in the five cities. They will discuss their problems and the solutions for their own countries — on school, family and communities.
“This will be a great opportunity for the youth of the sixteen different countries to share what’s going on in their lives," said Mr. Arturo Woodman, President of the U-17 local organizing committee. “The U-17 World Cup is a wonderful way of promoting the Millennium Development Goals, especially the one dealing with the importance of education.”
Of course the Cup will have winners and losers on the field. Off the field, it is an opportunity for the youth of Australia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Italy, The Democratic Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Qatar, Turkey, the USA and Uruguay to win, as long as the contest leads to adult reflection that children can triumph if they are given the means for success. It is a challenge for the participating countries, and an opportunity to say with one voice: “Los chicos siempre ganan”!
For further information, please contact:
Marilú Wiegold, UNICEF Peru
María Pía Valdivia, UNICEF Peru