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World Cup: UNICEF, FIFA partnership for children


16 May 2006

NEW YORK/GENEVA/ZURICH/LONDON, - 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. (

“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 (
• 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); Eduardo 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.

As part of the campaign, UNICEF, FIFA and the non-governmental organization Family Violence Prevention Fund will launch a manual for football coaches to use to help address issues of violence and discrimination, particularly against women and girls. The football coaches’ manual is intended to help them break the barriers of discrimination and violence by finding ‘teachable moments’ to talk to their young athletes about tolerance and to teach them that violence does not equal strength. The manual will be published in English, French, Spanish, and German and will be distributed globally.

For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories 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.


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