FC Barcelona have been presented with the 2007 Laureus Spirit of Sport Award for their ground-breaking initiative with humanitarian organisation UNICEF. The Award was presented to FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta and their Brazilian star Ronaldinho.
Under a five-year collaborative agreement, Barcelona - using the slogan ‘More than a club, a new global hope for vulnerable children’ - annually contribute €1.5 million (US$1.9 million) to UNICEF to wear the organisation’s logo on their shirts. Until the agreement, Barcelona, the current Champions League winners and one of the great football clubs of the world, were the only major European team not to wear advertising on their shirts.
The first beneficiaries will be vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in Swaziland. Education and sports programmes will be strengthened to provide better protection, care and support for orphans and vulnerable children.
Those same programmes and other outreach efforts will raise public awareness to limit the spread of AIDS. Children and their mothers will have improved access to life-saving drugs to prevent transmission of HIV and dangerous opportunistic infections of the virus, including access to life-prolonging anti-retroviral treatment.