Laporta seeks to strengthen UNICEF ties

2015-06-30 13:25
Joan Laporta (AFP)

Barcelona - Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he will do his best to put the name of UNICEF or another humanitarian cause back in a prominent position on the team shirt if he returns to the helm in next month's elections.

Laporta negotiated the initial deal with UNICEF almost 10 years ago during his previous spell as president from 2003 to 2010 that saw a logo put on the shirt for the first time in the club's history.

Under the last board, led by Sandro Rosell and then Josep Maria Bartomeu, deals were struck to have first the Qatar Foundation and then Qatar Airways on the front of the shirt and it saw the UNICEF name relegated to the back.

"I will do my best. I will do my best to get a sponsor that makes it possible so that we have UNICEF again on our shirt or another motif that carries a similar meaning to UNICEF," he told Reuters on Monday.

Laporta has doubts that the contract with Qatar that runs until next year is the best option for the club.

"They (previous board) didn't explain the contract," he said. "Nobody knows what they signed under the former presidency with Qatar.

"There were a lot of fans complaining who wanted to know more and I am suspicious that it is not a good contract for FC Barcelona.

"In any case we prefer UNICEF, we think that it is the best for the image of FC Barcelona to be committed with a society like this and it is a way that we have to return to the world society what they are giving to us."

Laporta felt Barca were respected around the world not just for their football but for their work with UNICEF when he was president.

"They (last board) are Qatar, we are UNICEF. They were saying things that I didn't believe -- that only Qatar is the proposal that we could have," he said.

"Everyone admired us, we were champions, we won a lot with a genuine style of playing football but at the same time because we had UNICEF on the shirt and we helped develop programmes for vulnerable children."

Laporta faces stiff opposition from outgoing president Bartomeu in the elections on July 18 following Barcelona's treble success last season.

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  joan laporta  |  soccer

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