Football unites with UNHCR and WFP in a global appeal for the people of Ukraine
Six internationally renowned football players have come together to appeal for urgent donations to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The global appeal #Football4Ukraine comes at a time when over 3.9 million refugees have now fled from Ukraine to neighbouring countries and some 6.5 million people are estimated to be displaced within Ukraine.
To mark the start of the appeal, players from across the Premier League and Bundesliga appear in a social media film calling for support.
The three players with a refugee background are: UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and FC Bayern Munich sensation, Alphonso Davies, Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Dortmund) – the first Syrian refugee to play in the Bundesliga, and Everton FC goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. They are joined by Manchester City right-back and FIFA Women’s Player of 2020, Lucy Bronze, Olympique Lyonnais' Ada Hegerberg – the first woman recipient of the Ballon d'Or, and Manchester United’s Juan Mata, a World Cup winner with Spain.
The players are calling on fans – wherever they are and whatever club they support – to stand together as one team and support people driven from their homes by the war in Ukraine, including by donating to the appeal.
The joint appeal brings together UNHCR’s expertise in protecting people forced to flee and WFP’s experience in the fight against hunger. UNHCR and WFP are on the ground inside and outside Ukraine working day and night to help those who need it most.
“We are inspired by the response we’ve seen from football fans all over the world, who are showing their support for people affected by the conflict in Ukraine,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.
“Our message to everyone is to remember that no-one chooses to become a refugee. Refugees – from Ukraine and beyond – are placed in the most heart-breaking of circumstances, forced to flee for their lives. Each of us can do our bit and unite behind the campaign, to extend our support.”