Italian Serie A side AS Roma are showing their support for the people of Afghanistan by wearing a special patch on their jerseys for a match this weekend.
When Roma host US Sassuolo at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, Sept. 12, they’ll do so with the logo of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on their left sleeves. The UNHCR is “dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.”
The shirts will then be auctioned off, with proceeds donated to UNHCR initiatives that will assist the people of Afghanistan during the current turmoil in the country.
According to AS Roma’s website, an estimated 570,000 Afghans have fled their homes since the beginning of 2021, and about 3.5 million people around the world are currently displaced — 80% of which are women and children.
“We welcome the support that AS Roma and Roma Cares, with the assistance of our agency, want to give to the people of Afghanistan,” Chiara Cardoletti, the UNHCR representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino, said on the club’s website.
“Despite the incredibly difficult circumstances, the UNHCR has chosen to stay in Afghanistan – a country where we have been working for more than 40 years – in order to provide assistance and save lives.
“This year alone we have supplied essential survival items to more than 240,000 people, but the need for such items grows hour by hour and the funds available are woefully insufficient.
“At times like this, even a small contribution can make a huge difference.”
Through its foundation, Roma Cares, the club will also distribute sporting materials from this past summer’s Euro 2020 tournament to Afghan refugees currently housed at facilities in Italy.
Roma Cares has also partnered with the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children to raise awareness about missing child cases from all over Europe through the club’s incoming transfer announcement videos. Since 2019, 12 individuals featured in the videos have been recovered safely, including four in the summer of 2021 alone.
All photos courtesy ASRoma.com