While the planet’s top soccer players score goals for their national teams in the World Cup on the playing fields of Germany, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today teamed up with the sport’s governing body to score one for the world’s youngsters, kicking off a campaign to promote human values on websites, videos and in print.“Whether they are playing on busy streets, in crowded refugee camps or amidst the chaos of conflict, children find joy through sport,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said.“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,” she added, referring to the governing soccer body Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 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. It includes public service announcements featuring some of the world’s top players, including UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and England’s captain David Beckham, an interactive website, video profiles of 11 children who have overcome situations of violence, and a manual for players and coaches designed to combat violence and discrimination, particularly against girls.The manual will be published in English, French, Spanish, and German and will be distributed globally. The announcement, produced by MTV International and featuring a 15-man “Team UNICEF” of World Cup players, is being shown before each of the matches.The Team comprises: David Beckham (England), captain; Emmanuel Abedayor (Togo); Christoph Metzelder (Germany); Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire); Thierry Henry (France); Tim Howard (United States); Rafael Marquez (Mexico); Lionel Messi (Argentina); Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan); Ji-Sung Park (Republic of Korea); Eduardo Tenorio (Ecuador); Francesco Totti (Italy); Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands); Paolo Wanchope (Costa Rica); Dwight Yorke (Trinidad and Tobago).The campaign website spotlights these players and highlights video stories of the 11 children who have overcome situations of violence and conflict through the power of football.
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