NAIROBI, 9 June 2004 - Four young Somalis have been selected to attend a two-week summer football camp at one of the world's most famous football clubs, Real Madrid F.C. of Spain. The Real Madrid Summer Camp takes place from 18 to 31 July 2004.
The youngsters were selected following football tournaments (Peace Cup) involving 384 members of 24 football teams in different parts of Somalia over a month-long period.
''The scholarships are not only an honour to the four Somali youth,'' said Winston Tubman, Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia. “Football and sports in general is a magnet for youthful energy which the UN seeks to harness for the cause of peace-building in Somalia. This scholarship will provide a unique opportunity for the four selected candidates to be sport ambassadors and messengers of peace for their country and to return home with skills and experience to share with their peers.”
The Sports for Peace initiative is an integral part of the 2004 United Nations Somalia campaign “Somalis for Peace” that will call on each Somali citizen to work for peace and to demand peace from those who are in a position to deliver it. The contribution of the Real Madrid scholarships is an important part of the campaign.
Said one of the quartet Abdi Bashir Abdi, 17 (Hargeisa), on the chance to visit Real Madrid: ''We are very happy to be able to visit the home of some of the most famous football players in the world such as David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo. Now, we will have a story to tell our friends.''
The other three youth making the trip are: Mohamed Yusuf Hassan, 15, from Hargeisa and Yusuf Ali Morgan, 17 from Merca, and Nuune Xuseen Cabdi, 17, from Daynile.
For more information contact:
Maria Jose Torres Macho, UN Political Office for Somalia
(UNPOS) Tel: + 254 20622163;