March 23 2006
FIFA referees support 6 villages for 2006
22/03/2006 - Referees of the 2006 FIFA World CupTM will support 6 villages for 2006, top referee Markus Merk said on behalf of all of his colleagues. At the same 21 March 2006 FIFA press conference in Frankfurt, FIFA General Secretary Dr. Urs Linsi handed SOS Children's Villages a 500,000 Swiss Francs donation.
Speaking for all of his FIFA referee colleagues, Germany's Markus Merk, the "World's Best Referee" in 2004 and 2005, said: "The campaign of the 2006 FIFA World CupTM in Germany, 6 villages for 2006, is wonderful and will help many children. There is nothing more beautiful than to see happiness in the eyes of children."
"We referees support 6 villages for 2006. For us, being part of this campaign is more than an honour; it is a role we fulfil with our hearts. I am happy that I am able to say this in the name of all referees. We are an international team: every referee can draw attention to the campaign in his own country."
"When children from various SOS Children's Villages in one country are competing in a football match, it would be great if the World Cup referee from the country in question would say: 'I will be the referee for this match!,'" Merk said at a FIFA referees press conference in Frankfurt.
At the same press conference, FIFA General Secretary Dr. Urs Linsi handed SOS Children's Villages a 500,000 Swiss Francs donation for 6 villages for 2006. Since joining forces in 1995, FIFA has both promoted the work of SOS Children's Villages and financially supported the organisation worldwide. Over the past ten years, FIFA has donated some two million US dollars to SOS Children's Villages.
"We are happy that FIFA can once again provide support for 6 villages for 2006. The FIFA World CupTM referees will support 6 villages for 2006 throughout the tournament and, as such, this charity campaign will be present at every match," said Dr. Urs Linsi.
In addition, at the 2006 FIFA World Cup TM, all income from fines in connection with yellow and red cards will be donated by FIFA to 6 villages for 2006, a project which will provide 800 orphans and abandoned children with a new home at six new children's villages - one each in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam. A further 5,000 children and 1,000 families will benefit from new ancillary schools and social centres.