David Beckham OBE, Founder of 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005, has today announced that he will be attending Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021, due to take place at Etihad Stadium, Manchester on Saturday 4th September and broadcast live on ITV and STV.

During his attendance, the sporting icon will present the trophy to the winning team and reunite with old teammates Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes who are all set to play as part of the England team.

David Beckham also announced that the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) will match public donations and fundraising along with the value of every ticket purchased for this year’s Soccer Aid for UNICEF, meaning everything is doubled – up to a total of £6.3 million.

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is the world’s largest philanthropy that focuses specifically on improving children’s lives. Recognising the impact of Covid on children’s life, their investment for this year’s Soccer Aid for UNICEF campaign will go directly towards UNICEF projects battling child wasting – the worst form of child malnutrition.

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation in preventing and treating malnutrition, providing 80% of the world’s lifesaving food. Tragically, global Covid-19 restrictions needed to protect people against the pandemic are disrupting vital food and medical supplies and are preventing healthcare and nutrition experts from visiting the communities that urgently need their help – continuing to push millions more children into hunger and malnutrition. With the help of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, this year’s Soccer Aid for UNICEF could help get life-saving therapeutic food supplies and healthcare services open and fully moving again. And by vaccinating frontline community health workers from Covid-19, we can make sure that they can continue to protect children against hunger and keep on saving lives.

Beckham joins an incredible line up of sports and celebrity names attending and taking part in this year’s Soccer Aid for UNICEF including Usain Bolt, Olly Murs, Liv Cooke, Paul Scholes, Sir Mo Farah, Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville, Tom Grennan, Fara Williams, Martin Compston, Ore Oduba and Kelly Smith.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham said: “I’m delighted to be attending Soccer Aid for UNICEF in my role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. What a year it has been for football and I can’t wait to watch England take on the Soccer Aid World XI in what is set to be an incredible match”

“I have been a Goodwill Ambassador for over 16 years and have seen first-hand the incredible work that UNICEF does for children around the world. Soccer Aid for UNICEF has never been more important, with the Covid crisis making life for kids in the world’s poorest countries even harder. With the support of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, donations will go twice as far in supporting the health and nutrition of kids around the world.”

Anna Hakobyan, Chief Impact Officer at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, said: “Today millions of children across the world are suffering from wasting, the worst form of malnutrition, and COVID has made it worse. In partnership with UNICEF, we want to prevent and protect these children from hunger and malnutrition and bring life-saving therapeutic food to treat those already suffering. Let’s turn the tide on this unacceptable crisis and transform the lives of these vulnerable children so they can build the future they deserve!”

Steven Waugh, Interim Executive Director at the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), said: “Everyone at UNICEF is grateful to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) for offering to match all public donations to Soccer Aid for UNICEF pound for pound, up to £6.3 million. This is a huge sum of money that will mean so much to children’s lives around the world. This year, Soccer Aid for UNICEF has its biggest goal ever as the Covid crisis is making life for children in the world’s poorest countries even harder – the support of CIFF is vital and every pound we raise from the campaign is another strike against the pandemic. It really is us against Covid for every child, everywhere”.

Soccer Aid for UNICEF is the biggest celebrity football match in the world and this year there will be a bumper week of shows across ITV and STV in the lead up to the match, helping raise as much money as possible to give children the best start in life. In the face of a global pandemic, public donations and fundraising could help UNICEF deliver 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, get children back to school, beat malnutrition, and get the healthcare they need today and long after the crisis is over.

Since 2006, when UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams co-founded the concept, Soccer Aid for UNICEF has raised over £47m to help give children all over the world a childhood full of play. This year, with the support of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, UNICEF UK is hoping to raise more money than ever and beat the record breaking £9.3 million that was raised last year.

Watch Soccer Aid for UNICEF on Saturday 4 September on ITV and STV and donate now at socceraid.org.uk/donate

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