The stars of European football are giving the thumbs-up to the official UEFA EURO 2008™ humanitarian project launched by UEFA together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Cross societies of the nations playing in the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.
Sweden striker Henrik Larsson, Germany forward Mario Gómez and Austria's captain Andreas Ivanschitz wear their Score for the Red Cross t-shirts with pride. The campaign will benefit landmine victims in Afghanistan. For the first time, UEFA is directly linking its support to what happens on the field of play – every goal scored (except in penalty shoot-outs) during the finals will be worth a donation of €4,000.
Helping victims walk again
The ICRC will use the funds raised in this way to help landmine victims in Afghanistan walk again. The provision of artificial limbs and gradual rehabilitation helps to restore lost dignity. The ICRC also facilitates reintegration into family and community life by offering vocational training and the possibility to start a small business. Half of the donations registered coming from residents of one of the 16 finalist countries will go to a project of their national Red Cross society.
Online fundraising campaign
The other major innovation is that fans have the possibility to participate. The key element of the partnership is an online fundraising campaign. Football fans are invited to buy virtual goals at scorefortheredcross.org for their favourite team. A league table shows which competing sides have had the most charity goals scored for them.
Log on and score goals
UEFA encourages the football family to log on and score goals for their favourites, supporting the Red Cross rehabilitation project for landmine victims in Afghanistan. Teams and players are hoping to win the title of most humanitarian team of the competition, for which a trophy will be awarded on 6 July.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo has been named ambassador for the UEFA EURO 2008™ Score for the Red Cross online fundraising campaign. "Landmine victims need determination and a lot of encouragement on the road to recovery," he said. "I have a lot of respect for them and I want to support them. The great thing about this campaign is that everyone is a winner when it comes to giving and receiving. The website offers football fans a chance to have fun while making a difference. What could be better than that?"
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