Date Published: 19 December 2008

Soccer Aid 2008 raises over £1.14 million for UNICEF

Health News from around the world.

International childrens' charity UNICEF has announced that Soccer Aid 2008 raised over £1.14 million for its health, education and protection work with vulnerable children worldwide. The name of this event may seem unusual to some viewers but was, presumably, chosen because in North America (USA and Canada), the word used to refer to the sport football, which is very popular in the UK and Europe, is 'soccer', thereby avoiding confusion with 'American football' which is an entirely different sport.

The money raised is being spent by UNICEF on:

  • Helping to reduce child mortality in Sierra Leone
  • Improving care for children with disabilities in Georgia
  • Protecting children living on the streets in the Philippines
  • Providing safe water in Nepal
  • Providing care and support for children affected by HIV in South Africa
  • Supporting children affected by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo

UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull said:

"We'd like to thank every single person who made a donation. Their generosity will make a huge difference. Soccer Aid 2008 was not only a fantastic football match but also a great opportunity for us to raise an incredible amount of money which will help us reach vulnerable children the world over, from Georgia to Nepal and Sierra Leone."

Especially given that UNICEF does not receive any funding from the United Nations and relies entirely on donations, projects such as Soccer Aid are really important in ordr to raise much needed funds. UNICEF and its partners work for children in more than 190 countries, from early childhood through to adolescence.

Soccer Aid 2008 was a four-hour live TV event broadcast to UK viewers on ITV1. Two teams, 'England' and the 'Rest of the World', played at Wembley Stadium on 7 September 2008. The teams of football legends and celebrities on the pitch played a match that saw Alan Shearer mark his return to Wembley with two goals, the referee stretchered off the pitch and an Assistant Manager brought on as a substitute for the Rest of the World.

After an action-packed 90 minutes, England beat the Rest of the World by four goals to three. Soccer Aid was produced by Initial, an Endemol Company, for ITV1.

Sierra Leone, Georgia, Philippines, Nepal, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, DR Congo, Alan Shearer

Source: UNICEF Press Release

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