| The SFA and UNICEF confirmed today that £500,000 has been raised from last month’s fundraising friendly between Scotland and Poland at Hampden Park. A crowd of 39,090 attended the 1-1 draw and as well as a £10 donation on each match ticket, further donations were texted and submitted before, during and after the match via the dedicated links – generating a significant amount to support UNICEF’s humanitarian response in Ukraine. Additional funds were raised through contributions from some of the SFA’s commercial partners, including hospitality partner Sodexo and match programme partner Ignition. Meanwhile, other commercial partners donated LED board advertising to UNICEF to promote the fundraising appeal to the television audience, including BT, JD, adidas, Specsavers, Camelot and Tennent’s.
The emergency appeal raises essential funds to support families and their children within Ukraine, and those that have been displaced to neighbouring countries, by ensuring child health and protection services are sustained and families have clean water and nutritious food. The money raised is enough to establish four Blue Dot Centres, which are safe spaces along border crossings for those people fleeing into neighbouring countries. These provide children and families with practical support and the chance for children to feel safe, to rest, play and simply be a child. Over 5000 children and their families are benefitting from each centre every day. The match was arranged following FIFA’s decision to postpone Scotland’s FIFA World Cup Play-Off Semi-Final against Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict, and the cancellation of Poland’s scheduled tie with Russia. Kieran Tierney scored his first international goal in the keenly contested draw but the respective players and crowd – which included 4,700 Polish fans – played their part in maximising the wider purpose of the fixture.
Ian Maxwell, SFA Chief Executive said: "Everyone at the Scottish FA has been overwhelmed – but not surprised – by the generosity of the Scotland fans and those who could not make the game but were moved to make a personal donation. We said at the time that football-related matters paled into insignificance compared to what the people of Ukraine are experiencing and continue to face. Along with the counterparts at the Polish FA, this was a resounding show of solidarity with a country and its people, while raising as much money to help them as we can in the process. It reinforces the Scottish FA’s belief that the power of football can be a source for good even in the most unimaginable situations.”
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive at The UK Committee for UNICEF went on to say: "Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to the Scottish FA who organised the football match and to the nearly 40,000 people who came out to pledge their support for the children and families impacted by this crisis. The money raised will enable UNICEF to continue to provide emergency medical services, including medicines and health supplies, hygiene kits, safe water and shelter, as well as psychosocial support for those affected by the conflict. Thank you to the many people who made this possible."