Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Footballers in aid of Natural Disasters

Footballers are a privileged group of people. Not only are they doing what they love but they get paid top dollar for it. Sportsmen or athletes are the select group who are instantly recognizable worldwide, they are like heroes to the young and even older generations. Therefore, it is logical for them to contribute back to society.
Almost every footballer have a charity of choice. As the world suffers from natural disasters, football lends a hand to support society.

When Asia was hit by Tsunami, FIFA and the AFC created a joint bank account to allow the football family to pool the donations collected by all, from associations and confederations to clubs and partners, in order to help those associations affected by the tsunami. The FIFA/AFC Tsunami Solidarity Fund was launched on the basis of immediate donations of US$2million and US$1million from FIFA and the AFC respectively. UEFA pledged US$1million soon afterwards and thanks to various other donations from across the world as well as the 'Football for Hope' solidarity match in Barcelona, the total raised ultimately reached US $10.55 million.

To help raise money for the British Red Cross China Earthquake Appeal, an England v Germany football legends charity match was organized in Bramall Lane (Sheffield Utd's stadium). Lee Sharpe and Bryan Robson lent their support for this cause.

When Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in May 2008, a number of Brazilian internationals took part in a Tour of Hope which was aimed to raise funds to rebuild the lives of the affected Myanmarese. The team played exhibition matches in Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand as well as conduct various football clinics.

All Stars for Hope is the inaugural soccer fundraising event to benefit Schools for Hope, Mikael Silvestre's charity. All Stars for Hope is a weekend of celebrity filled events, culminating with a soccer game featuring one of the most unique team ever assembled, in New York in June 2009. The All Stars for Hope team is composed of the very best players in the world, lead by Mikael Silvestre, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, and Didier Drogba. The team is gathering in NY to help build awareness and promote fundraising efforts to support building schools around the world. The goal is to raise over $1,000,000 to benefit Schools for Hope to help build schools and places for education all around the world.

In January 2008, the England football team spearheaded a nationwide initiative to improve opportunities for young people in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country. Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves launched the first of a series of 11 projects that will engage with some of the hardest hit communities worst effected by deprivation including poor housing, health, education, disability, high incidences of crime, racial and drug abuse. This initiative forms part of the Team England Footballers Charity (TEFC) established by the players early 2007 following their decision to forego their England match fees to donate at least £1million to chosen charity partners ahead of the next World Cup. The TEFC will be using the players’ investment and time to support chosen charity partners including the Association of Children’s Hospices; WellChild; the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and the Professional Footballers Association Charity Initiatives.

It's really good to know that majority of footballers are a social-concious lot, they must remember that they need to be positive role models to the younger generation.

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