Football united against the bombing of civilians

Two children from conflict zones to escort the teams onto the pitch at the UEFA Super Cup

This year’s UEFA Super Cup, which will take place on Tuesday 9 August in the Norwegian city of Trondheim and will be contested by Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC, will be used to send a message of peace and solidarity to civilian victims of bombing around the world. During the pre-match ceremony, the two team captains will be escorted onto the field of play by two disabled child refugees who have found sanctuary in Norway – one from Afghanistan and the other from Syria. Together, they will carry the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League trophies out onto the pitch.

The UEFA Foundation for Children is working with Handicap International, which defends the rights of disabled people worldwide, improves their living conditions and helps them to integrate into society. The foundation is also supporting Handicap International’s new worldwide Stop Bombing Civilians campaign, calling for compliance with international law, which prohibits warring parties from targeting civilians and public buildings, with many children often among the victims. The UEFA Foundation for Children’s support for this campaign forms part of its ongoing commitment to assisting child victims of conflict in the areas of health, education, access to sport, personal development, social integration and the protection of children’s rights.

This initiative would not be possible without the support of UEFA, the Football Association of Norway, the UEFA Super Cup’s local organising committee in Trondheim, and Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC. This event will mark the launch of an extensive campaign organised by Handicap International with the aim of mobilising public opinion against the large-scale use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas.

Bombing civilians is not war; it’s a crime.”

Leif Ivar Akselvoll from the Football Association of Norway explains: “The UEFA Super Cup is being contested in Trondheim as part of the centenary celebrations taking place in honour of Rosenborg BK, which has a rich pedigree at both domestic and European level. It is a great honour for us to be staging this match, playing host to the cream of European football. This match and its opening ceremony will send a message of peace, putting the spotlight on children – the future of our world – and highlighting the role that football can play in the area of social integration. We are working hard to make this an event for everyone, and we are looking forward to welcoming all the fans to Trondheim. We align ourselves to the campaign “No to the bombing of civilian!” initiated by Handicap International.”

Manuel Patrouillard, managing director of Handicap International, adds: “The use of explosive weapons in populated areas is unacceptable. Bombing civilians is not war; it’s a crime. There is an urgent need to protect civilian populations and force warring parties to comply with international humanitarian law.”

Handicap International: Following a 30-year campaign against anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions, which led to those weapons being outlawed under the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention of 1997 and the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions of 2008, Handicap International has, since 2011, been calling on the international community to oppose the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. It is currently engaged in an extensive awareness-raising campaign aimed at preventing such practices

Official website: www.handicap-international.org

Campaign against the bombing of civilians in populated areas: www.stop-bombing-civilians.org