• 30 August 2021
  • Backed by prominent figures from the football world, the long-term strategic partnership will deliver fundraising and advocacy initiatives to promote education through the sport
  • Dubai Cares and UK-headquartered Football for Peace will host a high-profile charity peace match in the UAE as part of the partnership

Dubai, UAE, 30 August, 2021: In an effort to utilise the power of football and education for the empowerment of youth and communities most in need, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has announced a long-term strategic partnership with UK-headquartered Football for Peace, a global foundation that uses football to raise awareness of pressing social and environmental issues in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The collaboration will leverage football to engage GCC and international audiences through inspiring messages of peace and unity. The goal is to promote the sport as a vehicle to raise awareness and educate youth and communities on localised issues such as ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequality and providing resources for those who are most in need.

The multi-year partnership will initially focus on galvanising the local and international community through a peace match in the United Arab Emirates. Key representatives from the UAE community, prominent global footballers, NFL players and international dignitaries such as Dimitar Berbatov, Bacary Sagna, George Boateng, Louis Saha, Clarence Seedorf and Josh Norman are expected to participate in the run up and after the match to work with youth groups and reinforce the message of Football Diplomacy. In addition, Football for Peace is keen to collaborate with Dubai Cares to establish a bespoke program for UAE-based students from low-income families with the Football for Peace’s players training Dubai Cares volunteers on the delivery of the youth programs.

His Excellency Ambassador Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the UK said: “I care deeply about empowering young people and preserving the environment, so I am inspired by the creative ways that the UAE’s Dubai Cares and UK’s Football for Peace are addressing both. This international cooperation will help bring the sustainable development goals to life for the next generation of leaders – which is crucial for lasting social and environmental change. I look forward to the partnership’s success and to cheering on the teams at the peace match.”

His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman at Dubai Cares said: “Sports like football offer a powerful medium to bring people together under a common goal and engage with them in ways that can effect meaningful change in the world. Our partnership with Football for Peace embodies this sentiment and aims to leverage the unique ability of football to promote the messages of unity and peace at a time of global uncertainty, crisis and fear. The various initiatives that we aim to host as part of this collaboration will together contribute towards a positive atmosphere that can foster sustainable learning, education and skilling opportunities for children and youth around the world. We encourage all football lovers to become part of this effort and use their passion for the sport to support a great cause.”

Kashif Siddiqi, Footballer, Football Diplomat and Co-Founder of Football for Peace said: “The unique power of Football Diplomacy has the ability to be a force for good and transcend the differences of ethnicity, religion, age, and gender. We’re delighted to be partnering with Dubai Cares to deliver some amazing initiatives that support their efforts and that focus on empowering young people through the power of football and education. We strongly believe our collaboration can harness this combined power and create long-lasting impact in the region and hopefully at an international level too.”

The Peace Match will be followed by numerous other engagements and initiatives in the region with a focus on harnessing the power of football to support Dubai Cares’ global educational programs in addition to developing sustainable practices, building resilient communities, and hosting symposiums convening the football and diplomatic world.

Zahara Malik, GCC Co-Chair of Football for Peace said: “Football for Peace and Dubai Cares coming together will help support youth and communities across the GCC and internationally. I am delighted to have both organizations join hands, as there is a real power in such partnerships. The importance of collaboration and strategic partnerships are fundamental in order to create a global impact”. 

Louis Saha, Football for Peace UK Board Member, and former Manchester United FC footballer said:"Football for Peace and I are extremely excited to embark on this journey with Dubai Cares, that will focus on two areas that I am passionate about which are football and education. Our hope is that this partnership will grow and deliver some fantastic initiatives in the region and internationally."

Josh Norman, Football for Peace USA Board Member, and Buffalo Bills footballer said:

“As professional athletes, we consider football to have a unique ability to reach far beyond ethnic, religious, or social differences and can challenge divisive narratives and empower young people. We are extremely excited to work with Dubai Cares and to create a long-lasting impact in the region”

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