Before becoming the acceptable face of Manchester City's lavish and occasionally vulgar modern spending era, Patrick Vieira was the best midfield player not named Zinedine Zidane in the world and renowned for his philanthropy, raising money in Africa and in particular his country of birth Senegal.
The Western Union Company, now the Global Partner of the UEFA Europa League, and the Western Union Foundation have announced through Vieira today that every successful pass in this season's competition will lead to funding to support one day's education for young people around the world.
The PASS initiative will start during the Group Stage of the UEFA Europa League Season 2012/12, which kicks-off on September 20 across Europe. The initiative aims to reach one million school days over the next three seasons and builds on the work the company has already done to support education globally.
Speaking on his role in the campaign, Patrick Vieira offered “Where I come from, opportunities for a quality education are rare,” said the World Cup winner. “Football was my ticket to success, but for the vast majority of young people education is the key that allows them to become whatever they want to be. That’s why I’m supporting this campaign. It will benefit students, teachers and schools across the world, particularly in places that need it most, like Senegal where I was born.”
Through the UEFA Europa League’s global audience, football fans from Africa, the Americas, Asia as well as Europe, will also be given the chance to add to the fund during the season through a range of online and social media mechanics.