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UNICEF Croatia teams up with national football hero

© UNICEF/2008
The Fundraising Gala Event “A Promise to Children” was held in Split.

Zagreb, 03 March 2008-The manager of the Croatian football team Slaven Bilić joined the UNICEF Croatia team as the newest National Ambassador during the fundraising gala event “A Promise to Children” held in Split last Thursday, under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, dr. Ivo Sanader.

National Ambassadors Zlatan Stipisic Gibonni, Bojana Gregoric Vejzovic and Maja Vucic together with UNICEF Head of Office, Tanja Radocaj welcomed the new team player cordially. “We are happy that today our team is strengthened by a passionate player and child rights advocate,” said Radocaj.

Hero to children
Within the country, Bilić is already considered one of the all time greatest of the Croatian football and he is a hero to many children. Bilić is known for fair play and a passionate approach to football, and also for generosity and honour outside the sports arena.

“I was awarded many times, however this is one recognition that is dearest to my heart. I feel very privileged and I hope that together with the UNICEF team we will score more for children,” said Bilić, who played for Karlsruher, West Ham United, Everton, Hajduk and the Croatian national football team during the World Cup in 1998 when the team ranked third in the world. He is currently managing the Croatian national team which recently qualified for the upcoming EURO 2008 tournament.

Fundraising Gala
Indeed, the UNICEF team scored well during the fundraising gala dinner, where UNICEF raised 163,000.00 US dollars for the implementation of Child Friendly Cities initiative related projects. Funds raised will directly contribute to equal opportunities for children with disabilities and other projects aimed at improving the quality of life of children in cities.

The Fundraising Gala Event and the ceremony  for Bilić was sponsored by Le Meridien Lav Hotel in Split, and was attended by  Bilić’s family, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Family, Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity Jadranka Kosor, the County Prefect Ante Sanader, the Mayor of Split Ivan Kuret, local and national media, businessmen, celebrities, UNICEF representatives and children.

The newest player on UNICEF team has passed the most difficult test one week before the Fundraising Gala Dinner when he was interviewed by children. A young journalists asked Bilić tough questions on football and his career as a manager as well as what is being done for children.

Slaven Bilic will support UNICEF’s campaign against peer violence and cyber bullying planned for May 2008.

For more information please contact:

Gorana Dojcinovic
Tel. +98512442660, email



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