Sergio Ramos hands over cheque to help Afghanistan rehabilitation programmes
UEFA will mark a decade of helping Afghan landmine victims on Wednesday, when Real Madrid CF defender Sergio Ramos presents a cheque for €100,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
“I would like to pay tribute to the ICRC, who have been working relentlessly to help landmine victims, many of whom are children. Their programme in Afghanistan, which has been in place for several years, shows that football can offer real hope in challenging times,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
“I am glad that UEFA can help this cause, and that the sport we love can have a positive impact on the rehabilitation process of so many people in this troubled region,” he added.
The donation supports the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme for landmine victims and other people with disabilities in Afghanistan – providing artificial limbs, physiotherapy, vocational training and access to the rehabilitation centre’s football team. About a third of patients are children.
Sergio Ramos will present the donation before his side’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match against SSC Napoli at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid on 15 February.
“The people benefiting from the ICRC programme in Afghanistan are an inspiration to us, as they set an example of how to approach life in a positive manner despite the problems that they face,” the Real Madrid CF defender said.
Sergio Ramos was chosen to hand over the cheque after receiving the most votes in UEFA.com’s Team of the Year, which was published in January, and added that it is “a privilege” to be “a source of motivation” to so many people.
“They don’t stop dreaming, and they fight to make their dreams come true. As key figures in this sport, it’s a true privilege for us footballers to be a source of motivation in their day-to-day lives, and to help them out,” he said.
Over the course of a partnership lasting almost 20 years, UEFA has donated in excess of €3.5 million to the ICRC to help disadvantaged people around the globe. Meanwhile, over 7 million votes were cast in selecting the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2016. More information on the award is available online at en.toty.uefa.com.