FLORENCE – The presentation of a unique event – Tuscany 2009, the Inter Campus World Cup – took place this morning at the Palazzo Strozzi Sagrati in Florence’s Piazza del Duomo. The tournament, which will take place at the Coverciano sports centre in Tuscany from 18-28 September, has been made possible thanks to a collaboration between FC Internazionale, Regione Toscana and the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation. Over three hundred children from the Inter Campus projects in nineteen different countries will take part.
First to speak at the press conference was Regione Toscana president Claudio Martini. He underlined Inter’s commitment to solidarity through its far-reaching corporate social responsibility project, defining what Inter Campus offers children as an “unhoped for dream”.
In the name of Inter, Massimo Moratti thanked Regione Toscana and the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation for supporting the Inter Campus World Cup. “Inter Campus wasn’t born from complicated things, but from the fact that you instinctively want to do something if you see situations of great poverty,” he explained, “and in this, football has the possibility of doing a lot more than the others. It is a sport that is loved, it offers a direct contact with big clubs. You can do beautiful things through football. We started with the favelas in Brazil, we intervened during the war in Kosovo, we went to Israel and then we went to many countries, getting the same, wonderful reply from the children, who have lived and live this experience like something unexpected had come. They felt wanted, they found a ‘friend’, they felt important, with the shirt. We developed this reality and in doing so we preferred to find the right conditions and instructors, and do so very carefully. And then came Massimo Moretti’s dream of a World Cup. Italy was a spectacular country for them, and for us too it is spectacular to see these children happy. We don’t find champions through Inter Campus, there’s no apparent return, but the benevolence and the passing of the word between various nations is so good, it surpasses any great victory of the team. This World Cup is a prize – for the children, and also for us.”
Inter Campus president Massimo Moretti went into more detail about the project: “The children end their experience at the age of thirteen, which coincides with the end of compulsory education, and in many countries going to school is not easy. We accompany the children in their reality, and for them the Inter shirt is a symbol of dignity. Play time is always the nicest moment and in many countries children can’t play. In Brazil we had to choose only a few children out of four thousand, so we let the local organisers choose on the basis of who had the greater difficulties. These children, who have nothing, have learnt how to regain altruism and they have taught us again. Here in Tuscany we will have with us a delegation from Israel and Palestine. They will stay in the same place. We convinced them to be united, thanks also to the Perez Foundation. Children aren’t to blame. Their stories are stories of families, who have great dignity, who will meet other children, other friends. It is important that, at a time when immigration is being hotly debated, we are cooperating with great humility. I have found great affinity with those who will work alongside us in Tuscany.”
Gabriello Mancini, president of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation, explained the spirit of the choice made: “I want to point out the collaboration that our foundation has with Regione Toscana, which is composed of many projects. Being a banking foundation, foundations like ours are born to promote local development, but we aim to give a positive reply to look further afield too, because helping a territory grow doesn’t just mean increasing a revenue, but also increasing the ethical, moral, educational sense, and aiming for the development of a collective growth of the community.”
Regione Toscana councillor for international cooperation Massimo Toschi added: “This morning I was at the celebration of fifteen years of Emergency, and Milly Moratti is the president of this charity, which has carried out operations on over ten thousand children in its hospital in Khartoum in Sudan. It is a special moment for Florence and Tuscany. Inter Campus is doing something great. Children from Iran, the south of Lebanon, Israel and Palestine will arrive, and this is no easy feat. Giving schools and food to these children means building the future of the world. Ten beautiful days await them and when they grow up they will remember playing against each other. Getting together children from different countries isn’t just a humanitarian action, it is a great action towards the future and for this it is right to thank Inter and Massimo Moratti.
Two numbers can explain Tuscany 2009, the Inter Campus World Cup: 19 countries present, for 1 mankind.