The Union of European
Football Associations (UEFA) has chosen the ICRC as its official
charity partner for the EURO 2008™ football championship,
to be held from 7 to 29 June in Austria and Switzerland. The
governing body of European football has pledged to donate
4,000 euros (6,700 Swiss francs) to the organization for every
regular goal scored in the championship, hence the slogan
“Score for the Red Cross”. Had a similar initiative
been taken four years ago, during the previous tournament
in Portugal, it would have raised more than half a million
Swiss francs for the ICRC, with 77 goals scored.
Online show of support
An innovative element of the new partnership is an online
fund-raising drive which will enable football fans to ‘buy’
virtual goals for their favourite team to help it win the
title of the event’s ‘most generous team’.
A web site has been created for this purpose (see box). The
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of the countries that
have qualified for EURO 2008™ can join in the project
and will receive half the sums raised in their respective
countries, with the other half going to the ICRC.
This is a new departure for the Movement in terms of both
Internet fundraising and partnership with a major sporting
event. The ICRC was keen to explore a method of raising money
that was both fun and interactive. For the donor, it is a
way of showing support for a team while simultaneously making
a donation to a humanitarian cause. The partnership with UEFA
is also an opportunity for the world of sport, through the
participation of the national teams in the campaign, to promote
The ICRC will use the proceeds of the EURO 2008™ campaign
to assist mine victims in Afghanistan. Besides providing them
with artificial limbs and physiotherapy, the organization
also supports their reintegration into family and community
life by offering vocational training and the opportunity to
start a small business. “I see patients arriving here
unable to walk and terribly depressed,” says Alberto
Cairo, head of the ICRC’s programme for the war-disabled
in Afghanistan. “We can help them find the strength
within themselves to get started again.”
A spirit of fair play
ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger and UEFA President Michel
Platini announced the new collaboration at a press conference
at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on 14 November 2007.
“Although we are very different bodies, it is true that
we have common values, respect for rules, a commitment to
fair play, and a spirit of openness and non-discrimination,”
said Kellenberger.“The ICRC is honoured to be teaming
up with UEFA in this way for EURO 2008™. We are grateful
for UEFA’s long-term support, which has enabled us to
help so many victims of armed conflicts the world over.”
Former French captain Michel Platini also expressed his enthusiasm
for the deal: “We share many of the same values, and
I am delighted that UEFA is able to make this contribution
to the ICRC.”
A fervent ‘supporter’ of the ICRC for the past
ten years, UEFA has already contributed more than 8 million
Swiss francs to the ICRC’s humanitarian activities.
The first partnership focused on the campaign to ban anti-personnel
mines in 1997, followed by a campaign to promote the protection
of children in war in 2002.
will be European champion?
The answer is one of the 16 teams listed below that have
qualified for EURO 2008™: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic,
France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.
Interestingly, the two countries that reached the final of
the first-ever EURO championship in 1960 — the USSR
and Yugoslavia — no longer exist. The result was 2-1
after extra time.
A dedicated web site
has been specifically set up to enable fans to make donations
to the Red Cross Red Crescent by purchasing goals for their
favourite teams. The more goals bought for a team, the higher
up the rankings it will go. At the end of the tournament,
the team with the most generous supporters will receive a
The names of all donors will also go into a draw for tickets
to EURO 2008TM matches.
The web site also provides information on the activities
of the ICRC and participating National Societies, as well
as on how the money raised through this collaboration between
the sporting and humanitarian worlds will be used.
The National Societies involved
The National Societies participating in the campaign are:
Austrian Red Cross, Croatian Red Cross, Czech Red Cross, French
Red Cross, German Red Cross, Hellenic Red Cross, Italian Red
Cross, The Netherlands Red Cross, Polish Red Cross, Portuguese
Red Cross, Romanian Red Cross, The Russian Red Cross Society,
Spanish Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross, Swiss Red Cross, Turkish
Red Crescent Society.