As the Group Stage in this seasonĂ˘$â„˘s competition comes to an end, over 250,000 successful passesĂ‚ have been made since the launch of its three-season PASS initiative in September 2012.
With the PASS initiative, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation, in collaborationĂ‚ with UNICEF, are turning every successful pass in the UEFA Europa League into funding forĂ‚ better education, harnessing the power of football to support vulnerable children around theĂ‚ world.
At the end of last season, the PASS fund totaled 178,231 passes, a figure which has now reachedĂ‚ 282,568 since the 2013/14 season started on September 19, 2013.
To celebrate, Western Union have pinned down the ever-excellent Sandro to give his take on how the initiative is shaping up and why it’s and important cause.
The top 5 clubs/players for passing in the UEFA Europa League 2013/14 season to date are asĂ‚ follows:
Leading Passing TeamsĂ‚
1. Tottenham Hotspur FC (3,673)
2. Swansea City AFC (3,269)
3. AZ Alkmaar (2,663)
4. Valencia CF (2,651)
5. PSV Eindhoven (2,532)
Leading Passing Players
1. Mousa DembÄ‚©lÄ‚©, Tottenham Hotspur FC (451)
2. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, AZ Alkmaar (352)
3. Thanos Petsos, SK Rapid Wien (346)
4. Alexandros Tziolis, PAOK FC (340)
5. Jan Wuytens, AZ Alkmaar (337)
In September, Western Union announced that Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey were the firstĂ‚ countries to receive funding raised by the PASS initiative. In Jamaica, PASS is supportingĂ‚ UNICEF programs aiming to achieve high levels of attendance, retention, numeracy and literacyĂ‚ among secondary school children with a focus on adolescent boys.
In Nigeria, Western Union isĂ‚ helping increase the number of qualified female teachers and, in turn, the enrollment of femaleĂ‚ students, contributing to UNICEFĂ˘$â„˘s efforts to meet the countryĂ˘$â„˘s need for 1.3 million moreĂ‚ qualified teachers in the country.
In Turkey, funding raised by the PASS initiative is beingĂ‚ used to ensure disadvantaged children and ethnic minorities have access to a quality secondaryĂ‚ education, with a focus on rural and low income areas where only 30 percent of children attendĂ‚ secondary school.