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UNICEF Cup has found its owner: Kyiv is celebrating victory

© UNICEF/Ukraine/2013/R.Rudakov
The winners of the Cup celebrate their victory

Second football tournament among vulnerable kids has taken place in Kyiv

20 May 2013, Kyiv – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in cooperation with the Federation of Football in Ukraine and the Ministry of Youth and Sports has held football tournament UNICEF Cup for second time in order to draw society’s attention to the urgency of children’s rights protection and the importance of sports and football in the process of vulnerable children’s rehabilitation. The initiative was supported by UNICEF Dutch National Committee.

More than 100 children from Odessa, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Zakarpattya and Lviv oblasts have participated in the tournament this year. Orphans and children deprived of parental care, children with disabilities, refugees as well as AIDS-affected children participated in the tournament.

Troeshchyna team of Sport for Everybody organization from Kyiv has become the winner of the tournament. “It is the first time we participate in the UNICEF Cup and the victory is something we have longed for. Girls and boys from other teams played very well, but this time luck was on our side,” said Troeshchyna captain Andriy Ponomarenko.

UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo called everybody to unite for children: “Playing sports is crucial for healthy growth of every child. That is why UNICEF unites with the Federation of Football and the government of Ukraine to give every child an opportunity to play sports, football in particular. I hope that next UNICEF Cup will gather even more teams and we will be able to share this football celebration with even more children.”

The Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Ravil Safiullin took part in the awarding ceremony of UNICEF Cup winners. He noted that the Ministry has been a reliable partner of UNICEF in the process of active and healthy lifestyle popularization among children and youth by means of attracting them to playing sports, football in particular. “Today we have all witnessed the real football competition with bright moments and genuine football emotions. We are ready to cooperate with UNICEF for the future to give thousands of children an opportunity to participate in similar competitions.”

The President of Football Federation in Ukraine Anatoliy Konkov awarded the Cup to the winners from Kyiv pointing that “It is not just a football tournament, but a cultivation of healthy lifestyle and a way to develop children’s-youth football in Ukraine. This is one of the priorities of our Federation activities. On this occasion I would like to thank the United Nations Children’s Fund in Ukraine for amazing organization of the tournament. I strongly believe, that we will continue our successful cooperation in the future.”

© UNICEF / Ukraine / 2013 / R.Rudakov
Children striving for the victory at the Cup.

Famous Ukrainian goalkeeper Olexander Shovkovsky chose the best player of the match. He presented the goalkeeper from orphanage house in Mykolaiv Ivan Popov with his own goalkeeper uniform. “Football has a grand potential to improve children’s lives, especially for those who got into difficult life circumstances. They are already winners, because they do not give up at the life field. UNICEF Cup helps them to believe in themselves! Let’s unite for children!” pointed Olexander Shovkovsky.

Celebrities of FC “Maestro”, Myroslav Kuvaldin, Vadym Oliynyk and Larson conducted warming-up with children before the beginning of the tournament. “Sport brings up a team spirit. So such tournaments motivate greatly for moving onwards. It is necessary to let children know that it is unimportant that somebody is luckier than the other one or what your position is at the start point of your path. It is important where you head though,” said Larson during the awarding ceremony.

The Embassy of France in Ukraine and French Institute have supported UNICEF Cup as well. Counselor for culture and cooperation of the Embassy and Director of French Institute in Ukraine, Eric Tosatti, greeted participants of UNICEF Cup, wished them inspiration and granted every participant with genuine leather footballs. UNICEF Cup was also supported by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the United Nations Refugee Office in Ukraine. 2+2 TV channel, web-portal Bigmir)net, daily newspaper Segodnya were media partners of the tournament. The live stream was provided by BеTV.

There are 8 million children in Ukraine, 165 thousand of which have disabilities, nearly 100 thousand children live or work in the streest and almost 95 thousand live at orphanages. All of them are born with equal rights to health, education and development. All of them dream about parental care and solicitude.

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About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world leader in protecting rights and interests of children. The Fund works in over 190 countries worldwide for protection and support of children from the moment of their birth and to the beginning of adulthood. Programs of the Fund are financed from voluntary contributions of individuals, companies, institutions and governments. Office of the Fund was established in Ukraine in 1997. More information could be found at Join us in Twitter, Facebook and  ВКонтакте.

For additional information please contact:
Iryna Mazur, UNICEF consultant, tel. +38 093 552 9644,;
Veronika Vashchenko, UNICEF Kyiv, tel. +38 050 388 2951,



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