UEFA and Juventus star Paul Pogba have joined forces in support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) campaign on behalf of landmine victims in Afghanistan.
The French international midfielder – voted on to the 2015 Team of the Year chosen by UEFA.com users – presented a €100,000 cheque from UEFA to the ICRC ahead of Juventus's UEFA Champions League round of 16 encounter with Bayern München in Turin.
UEFA's annual donation – made for the ninth consecutive year – supports the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme for landmine victims and other people with disabilities in Afghanistan. The programme includes the provision of artificial limbs, physiotherapy, vocational training and the chance to play and savour the joy of football in the rehabilitation centre's football team.
Pogba, who made the presentation to the head of the ICRC physical rehabilitation programme in Afghanistan, Dr Alberto Cairo, has given his wholehearted backing to the ICRC's work, and has talked directly with members of the rehabilitation football team in Kabul, as well as giving an exclusive interview to UEFA.org.
"Football is not just a game," said Peter Gilliéron, chairman of the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee. "It is a game-changer, and this is what the UEFA-ICRC partnership is about. We are very appreciative of Paul Pogba's involvement – he has genuinely and generously embraced the project."
"Sport, and especially football, is incredibly powerful," added ICRC director-general Yves Daccord. "It helps you rebuild your identity and reconnect with the community. The positive impact of scoring a goal with your new limb is immeasurable. UEFA has been a committed partner in making this happen in Afghanistan for nearly a decade."
Watch Paul Pogba's first conversation with Afghanistan ...