The UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and FC Barcelona will see the meeting of two great on-pitch rivals. But off the pitch both clubs share a unique and common goal. A commitment - through their individual partnerships with UNICEF - to halting the shattering impact of HIV and AIDS on the world’s children.
HIV and AIDS is having a devastating effect of children and young people worldwide and is a priority concern for UNICEF, the worlds leading children’s organsiation.
• Currently 2.1 million children under the age of 15 are living with HIV
• Young people aged 15 to 24 now account for about 40 per cent of all new HIV infections
Fiona Hesselden, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF UK said: “For two great clubs to unite with UNICEF in this way is a sign of just how important and pressing an issue HIV is. HIV affects millions of young people globally, but together, united, we can all make a stand. We can make a difference. “
In the 90 minutes it will take to play Wednesday's final:
• 72 children will get infected with HIV
• 50 children will die as a result of AIDS
Recognising the popularity and power of football to reach young people worldwide and to facilitate positive change, both Manchester United and FC Barcelona have developed active partnerships with UNICEF. Each club supports UNICEF’s global AIDS campaign ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’, funding vital UNICEF AIDS projects and spreading important messages about health, education and HIV prevention.
Ahead of the game, the Clubs have issued a joint statement from Manchester United chief executive David Gill, and FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta in support of UNICEF:
“On the pitch Manchester United and Barcelona are great football rivals. But off the pitch we are united by a common goal, a common cause – to halt the shattering impact of HIV and AIDS on children and young people globally. Together with UNICEF, the worlds leading children’s organisation, we are each, in different ways, committed to tackling this life threatening virus and to giving young people affected by HIV and AIDS a better future. Together, with different approaches, we support UNICEF’s ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ campaign.
On Wednesday, rest assured our on-pitch rivalry will commence and one of our teams will make history. But off the pitch, we both hope to make history in a different way. Together with UNICEF, we are united in the goal of an AIDS free generation. We all have a role to play.”
Find out more about United for UNICEF.