UNESCO and Málaga Football Club team up to imagine peace
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the President of the Málaga Football Club (Málaga CF), Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, signed a four-year agreement aiming to promote peace through sport, the internet and social media on Wednesday 1 June. The signing took place at the Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain.
“Imagining peace” is the main message of the agreement, which requires UNESCO and Málaga Football Club to mobilize their networks and communities to promote initiatives in favour of intercultural dialogue, education, the fight against doping and against racism.
“The alliance is rooted in the will to promote the values and objectives of healthy, doping-free sport and to help create a society unfettered by racism and discrimination. We must imagine peace and make it become reality,” declared the Director-General.
“Our joint purpose is to use the values of sport to educate grown-ups and the young and this is one of the main reasons for our association. The training of young athletes must not be limited to the development of individual, or group, technical skills, it must also draw on the values inherent to sport, such as the will to excel, camaraderie and respect,” declared Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani.
UNESCO and Málaga CF will share their resources so as to inspire young people with a new understanding of peace. The internet and social media will be used to promote UNESCO values concerning intercultural dialogue and the importance of education.
The agreement also aims to contribute to the creation of an environment free of racism where girls and boys enjoy the same opportunities; to help foster a social conscience among the young using the information tools that are theirs, i.e. the internet and its social networks; and to implement the principles that underpin UNESCO’s Convention Against Doping in Sport.
A joint commission with representatives of UNESCO and Málaga CF will develop initiatives so as to attain these objectives. La Academia, the training centre of Malaga CF’s young players, serves as a practical laboratory for the agreement. At present 15 teams of young footballers aged 6 to 19 (i.e. 500 players in total) are trained there.
The two parties will lead regular campaigns with the social media and the internet and develop e-publications with the aim of meeting the needs of young audience.
The association of both parties will be visible every weekend on the playing fields as the players of the first division team of Spanish football will sport UNESCO’s logo on their jerseys. The information panels at Málaga’s 29,000-capacity La Rosaleda stadium, will also put the UNESCO – Malaga CF partnership in the spotlight, as will the club’s website and other communication tools.
Lucia Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO, Division Public Information
Tel. + 33 (0)6 31 54 30 36 / l.iglesias(at)unesco.org
Victor Varela, Málaga CF
Tel. + 34 9 52 10 44 88 / comunicacion(at)malagacf.es