Third UNICEF Football Cup took place in Kyiv on the eve of International Children’s Day“Thanks to football I belive that I can overcome any difficulty” says 12 year old Selim from Crimea
KYIV, 30 May 2014 – UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in cooperation with Football Federation of Ukraine and the Ministry of Youth and Sport held UNICEF Cup today in order to draw the attention to the protection of children’s rights and the importance of sports and football in the rehabilitation of vulnerable children.
160 children from Odesa, Kyiv, Mykolayiv, Kherson, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Dnipropetrvosk and Lviv participated in the tournament this year. The UNICEF Cup with generous support by the Dutch National Committee for UNICEF has been conducted since 2012. This year the tournament gathered teams of children affected by HIV, orphans and children lacking parental care, children with disabilities, children from the families of internally displaced persons who moved from Crimea and East of Ukraine.
“Thanks to football I believe that I can overcome any difficulty” said Selim, a 12-year-old who arrived with his family to Lviv from Crimea. His family is one of the many internally displaced families in Ukraine.
Famous Ukrainian football players supported UNICEF Cup, in particular Oleksandr Shovkovskyi, Oleksandr Rybka, Evhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Shevchenko, Andiyr Piatov, Dario Srna and Andiyr Voronin. In the run up to the tournament, FC Dynamo Kyiv football players took photos wishing good luck and supporting the children who participated.
Almost eight million children live in Ukraine of whom 165’000 are disabled, 80’000 live and work on the street and around 95’000 live in institutions. Every child is born with equal rights for health, education and development. Every child needs parental care.
UNICEF Ukraine Representative Yukie Mokuo called on everyone to unite for children: “We at UNICEF want that every child is surrounded by love, care and respect. I believe that football can help us unite for children”.
This year the UNICEF Cup emulated format of upcoming World Cup in Brasil. Each team was named after the team playing in the World Football Championship. UNICEF offices all over the world supported the Ukrainian children through social media, including Portugal, Spain, USA, Uruguay, Japan, UK, Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. This global support inspired children to continue to play football and be winners on the pitch and in their lives.
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