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Red Cross work inspires Ronaldo

17-06-2008 Feature by Andy Brassell

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was humbled after meeting landmine victim Mohammad Kabir at the national team's base in Neuchatel on Friday. The Afghan lost a leg while playing football in Kabul.

 
 
Ahead of the Euro 2008™ championship in June, UEFA and the ICRC have launched a fundraising campaign to benefit landmine victims in Afghanistan.
 

   
  ©UEFA    
 
Mohammad signs an Afghan shirt for Ronaldo    
       
  ©UEFA    
 
   
      

 Lessons to learn  

    

" There are always lessons to learn in life, " said the 23-year-old, who is the ambassador for the UEFA EURO 2008™ Score for the Red Cross campaign, which will benefit landmine victims in Afghanistan. " In this case, Mohammad was left without his dream of being able to be a player – and one who knew he was a good player. " The Manchester United FC attacker, whose first goal of UEFA EURO 2008™ against the Czech Republic on Wednesday earned €4,000 for the campaign, found the meeting inspiring. " I liked him a lot, " he said. " He seemed an amazing guy to me, but he was also full of energy and motivation to keep on with his life. He knows that life doesn't finish here, and that he has to go on. It's very sad, though, for a dream to end in this way. "

 Cash for goals  

    

Score for the Red Cross is the official UEFA EURO 2008™ humanitarian project launched by UEFA together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Cross societies of the nations playing in Austria and Switzerland. For the first time, UEFA is directly linking its support to what happens on the pitch – every goal scored during the finals, except in penalty shoot-outs, will be worth a €4,000 donation. The ICRC will use the funds raised to help landmine victims in Afghanistan walk again. The provision of artificial limbs and gradual rehabilitation helps to restore lo st dignity.

 Reintegration work  

    

The ICRC also facilitates reintegration into family and community life by offering vocational training and the possibility to start a small business. Half of the registered donations coming from residents of one of the 16 finalist countries will go to a project of their national Red Cross society.