Geneva/Munich (ICRC/UEFA) – Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm is donating 100,000 euros on behalf of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to the physical rehabilitation programme of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan. The German footballer was recently awarded the sum for having received most votes on the UEFA.com user’s Team of the Year.
"The ICRC greatly appreciates the commitment and support it has received from UEFA and its stars like Philipp Lahm for seven consecutive years now," said Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, the ICRC's director of communication and information management, who will be accepting the donation on behalf of the humanitarian organization. "Traditionally this contribution goes to physical rehabilitation activities in Afghanistan, which not only respond to the physical needs of people with disabilities, but promote equal opportunities for them, including in sports, and enable them to live in dignity."
UEFA’s partnership with the ICRC dates back to 1997, when European football’s governing body pledged its support for the ICRC’s anti-landmine campaign. This will be the seventh time that the ICRC will benefit from the cheque offered by UEFA in connection with the selection of the UEFA.com users’ Team of the Year. Over the past few years, stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol have also presented donations on behalf of UEFA to the ICRC’s physical rehabilitation programme in Afghanistan.
The ICRC has been running its limb-fitting and rehabilitation programme in the country since 1988. Over 90,000 people are treated in seven ICRC centres every year. About one third of the patients are children. The fact that most employees in the centres are disabled former patients demonstrates that full reintegration in society after physical rehabilitation is possible. In 2013, Alberto Cairo, who heads the ICRC's physical rehabilitation activities in Afghanistan, was given the Henry Dunant medal, the highest award of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in recognition of outstanding humanitarian commitment.
For further information, please contact: Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 79 251 93 02 UEFA Media Services, tel: +41 848 04 27 27