The UNESCO Cup match was announced during a press conference at the Juventus stadium on Monday 5 May, by club president Andrea Agnelli, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and UNESCO Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Information, Eric Falt, representing the Organization’s Director-General, Irina Bokova.
“Thanks to our collaboration with UNESCO, I believe Juventus are actively showing what it means to participate in the fight against racism and promotion of social integration. It’s a long and complex journey, and that’s why everyone’s commitment is required,” said Andrea Agnelli.
“Juventus and Real Madrid symbolise the best of sport, and that’s why both must assume responsibility for helping those who suffer. Juventus should be proud of their UNESCO projects. Africa loves football: we need to be united for them during an event that will also be a celebration of football,” said Florentino Perez.
The press conference was also attended by several of the players who will take part in the match, including Emilio Butragueño and Fernando Hierro, from Real Madrid’s Leyendas team, and Juventus Legends Edgar Davids, Fabio Grosso, Pavel Nedved and Gianluca Pessotto.
The projects funded from the proceeds of the UNESCO Cup match will provide assistance to former child soldiers in Mali and the Central African Republic, to help their reintegration into society. They’ll have access to literacy programmes, training in employable trades such as masonry and carpentry, and will take part in cultural, sporting and artistic events to build their confidence and hopes for a better future
The partnership will also finance a ground-breaking global research project to study discrimination and racism in sport. The findings will be published in a report aimed at providing governments and other stakeholders with insight and data on these phenomena, and guidance on how they can be eradicated from the sports field. The report should be finalised by the end of 2015.
“UNESCO is delighted to join forces with Juventus in the struggle against discrimination and in the effort to make more inclusive and just societies, in which all young women and men have the opportunity to shine,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “The UNESCO Cup match, with an extraordinary line up of football greats, marks the start of a powerful partnership that we believe will make a difference.”
UNESCO is the lead agency within the United Nations System for the fight against discrimination and racism in sport, as well as anti-doping in sport and the promotion of fair-play.