The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) raised US$100,000 to support a UNICEF-assisted project which provides support to China's AIDS orphans on the AFC's Fifth Anniversary Gala Thursday night.
At an auction at the gala conducted by Christie's, more than 12 lots of football mementos such as jerseys, pictures and autographed footballs were sold.
More than 370 entrepreneurs and celebrities from AFC and China Football Association were invited who spent nearly US$50 million in table sales of the gala and raised another US$50 million in the auction supporting UNICEF's project for children against AIDS in China.
"Football is a very good way to mobilize children. UNICEF will use this fund in many areas," said Christian Voumard, UNICEF representative to China, noting that the project will help around 78,000 orphans in China.
"We concentrate our work on the prevention of transmission of HIV from mother to child on the orphans and young people," said Voumard.
Peter Velappan, secretary-general of AFC, said that the AFC has had "a wonderful cooperation" with UNICEF. As social and moral organizations, both have obligations to pay attention to the children who unfortunately were not born with good education and health care, he said.
"The aim of football is to score a goal and the goal of UNICEF is to improve children's lives," Roger Moore, UNICEF Goodwill ambassador said at the gala.
The British movie star, who is well known for his portrayal of 007 James Bond, is visiting China for the first time while on a world tour promoting UNICEF's programs.
(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2004)