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Joint press release

World Cup: UNICEF, FIFA partnership for children

NEW YORK/GENEVA/ZURICH/LONDON, 16 May 2006 - UNICEF and the world’s governing soccer body Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) today officially kicked off their partnership campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ under the banner UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE FOR PEACE. 

The UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE FOR PEACE campaign spotlights the power of soccer in promoting values of peace and tolerance within communities and at the international level. FIFA and UNICEF are joining forces during the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ to use one of the world’s great sporting events as a platform to show how sport can create self-esteem, self-confidence and trust among children. (www.unicef.org/football)

“Whether they are playing on busy streets, in crowded refugee camps or amidst the chaos of conflict, children find joy through sport,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “But sport is more than just a game – it is also one of the best ways for children to learn team work, tolerance and the value of play.  UNICEF and FIFA share a common commitment to transforming young athletes into upstanding citizens.”

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter said “FIFA selected UNICEF to be the official goodwill cause of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ based on the longstanding alliance of our two organizations and our common goals of fighting for the rights of children. FIFA is pleased to be working with UNICEF to carry the message that sport – and particularly football – is a peace-building exercise and the core of childhood, and one that can contribute to making the world a better place”.
The UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE FOR PEACE has several components, including
• a public service announcement (PSA) featuring some of the world’s top players
• a dedicated web-site (www.unicef.org/football)
• video profiles of children around the world
• a manual for football 

The PSA, produced by MTV International, features UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham and 14 other 2006 FIFA World Cup players who joined “Team UNICEF” in support of the campaign. The PSA will be shown before each of the 64 matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The 15-person “Team UNICEF” roster includes:  David Beckham (England) – captain and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador ; Emmanuel Abedayor (Togo); Christoph Metzelder (Germany); Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire); Thierry Henry (France); Tim  Howard (USA); Rafael Marquez (Mexico); Lionel Messi (Argentina); Hidetoshi  Nakata (Japan); Ji-Sung Park (Korea); Edwin Tenorio (Ecuador); Francesco Totti (Italy); Edwin van der Sar (Holland); Paolo Wanchope (Costa Rica);  Dwight Yorke (Trinidad).

The dedicated campaign website spotlights these top “Team UNICEF” players as well as highlights video stories of 11 children who have overcome various situations of violence and conflict through the power of football. 

Note to editors:  

1) The 30-second PSAs will also be broadcast globally on MTV International, Nickelodeon and VH-1. They are available rights-free to broadcasters through www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef.  The PSAs are accompanied by video footage providing a “Behind the Scenes” look at how the spots were made.

For further information, please contact:
Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media New York, 212 326 7452, e-mail:  kdonovan@unicef.org
Monique Thormann, UNICEF Media Geneva, 41 22 909 5718, e-mail: mthormann@unicef.org
Federico Addiechi, FIFA Zurich, 41-43-222-7777, e-mail federico.addiechi@fifa.org

About UNICEF: 
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.





UNICEF goes behind the scenes of an MTV shoot for the ‘Superfans’ public service announcements, with famous football players promoting a more peaceful world for children.
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