Kia and UEFA Foundation for Children team up to donate football boots to young refugees

Thousands of young children living at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan will benefit after Kia handed over hundreds of pairs of football boots in Baku to the UEFA Foundation for Children.

©UEFA.com
Boots from across Europe have been collected to help children at the Zaatari refugee camp
Boots from across Europe have been collected to help children at the Zaatari refugee camp©UEFA.com

Thousands of young children living at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan will benefit after Kia handed over hundreds of pairs of football boots in Baku to the UEFA Foundation for Children. 

The donation was made during the final leg of the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour Driven by Kia in Baku, with former UEFA Champions League winner Deco on hand to meet representatives from the Zaatari refugee camp.

Throughout the knockout stages of this year's UEFA Europa League, Kia and the UEFA Foundation for Children have visited cities across Europe to encourage fans to donate their unwanted boots and trainers. The boots will be given to young Syrian refugees at the Zaatari camp in Jordan to play on football pitches which were partly provided by the UEFA Foundation for Children.

Fans donated boots in their hundreds, while over 140,000 people of all ages had the chance to see the UEFA Europa League trophy at schools, grassroots clubs and city centres in Seville, Berlin, London, Milan, Moscow and Paris.

Many of the children at the camp did not have access to footwear
Many of the children at the camp did not have access to footwear©UEFA.com

"Everyone who has ever played the game – regardless of the level – remembers their first pair of football boots," said Deco. "In donating their boots, fans across Europe are not only giving people a chance to play in better conditions, but they are creating a memory for the recipients that will last a lifetime. 

"To meet representatives from Zaatari and learn about the challenges faced by the young players has been very moving. For Kia and the UEFA Foundation for Children to provide the opportunity for fans to support the refugees is extremely positive."

Throughout the campaign, supporters and youngsters from schools and grassroots clubs had the opportunity to spend time with Trophy Tour ambassadors including Lothar Matthäus, Andrés Palop, David Seaman, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Andrei Arshavin, Youri Djorkaeff and Filippo Inzaghi.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has made a number of visits to the Zaatari camp
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has made a number of visits to the Zaatari camp©UEFA.com

"The UEFA Foundation for Children has helped provide pitches for the refugees to use in Jordan, but until now the facilities had lacked football boots," said UEFA's head of sponsorship and licensing Guillaume Sabran. "Thanks to the generosity of fans across Europe, the youngsters will now have the ability to play in vastly improved conditions throughout the year. 

"On behalf of UEFA I'd like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign and to Kia for creating the platform for fans to make a real, tangible difference to those who are living in difficult circumstances but share the same passion for our beautiful game."

Many at the Zaatari refugee camp do not have access to football boots or trainers, so the new donation will have a positive impact on thousands of children. The boots will be shipped to Jordan in the coming weeks.

"It's been an honour to help empower fans across Europe who have donated their boots so generously," said Yong-Won Cho, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Kia Motors Corporation.

"The campaign has been an illustration of the power that football holds. It has been inspiring to see the many hundreds of football supporters who have joined our Trophy Tour to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate. On behalf of Kia Motors I would personally like to thank each and every one of them."

The UEFA Europa League final will take place in Baku on Wednesday 29 May between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC. As the official automotive partner of the UEFA Europa League, Kia Motors will supply 90 vehicles for official use during the occasion.

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