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FC Barcelona & FCB Foundation, Malaria No More and AYSO Launch Initiative to 'Kick it to Malaria'

Global Soccer Stars join AYSO kids to Lead Soccer Community in Nationwide

Fundraising Effort to Fight Malaria

NEW YORK, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Soccer club FC Barcelona, FCB Foundation, Malaria No More and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) today announced the "More Than A Club: Kick it to Malaria" initiative. The focus of this global partnership is to raise funds and awareness to help fight malaria and save the lives of children in Africa. Malaria is the number one killer of children in Africa and takes one life every 30 seconds -- more than one million every year.

FC Barcelona boasts a roster of some of the world's best soccer players. The team has long lived by their motto and team philosophy of being "More Than a Club." Now the storied club will take on the number one killer of children in Africa: malaria. The year-long "Kick it to Malaria" campaign ( features five key components:

-- FC Barcelona will be participating in a four-on-four soccer tournament at Chelsea Waterside Field in Manhattan on August 5th with each team comprised of at least one FC Barcelona player, one AYSO player, and one supporter, with all proceeds going to the partnership between the club's Foundation and Malaria No More.

-- FC Barcelona and AYSO will invite their more than 600,000 U.S. youth who participate in their soccer programs to get pledges from coaches, parents and communities for the 2008 season to buy $10 bed nets for kids in Africa. AYSO is reaching out to all U.S. soccer kids to be a part of this important initiative.

-- FC Barcelona will wear a special edition jersey with the Malaria No More logo on the left shoulder for their U.S. tour, which includes games against Mexican team Chivas Guadalajara in Chicago on August 3 and the New York Red Bulls of MLS on August 6.

-- Funds raised through the "Kick it to Malaria" campaign will support malaria control in Africa in cooperation with FC Barcelona Foundation through its children & youth support Program "International Network of Solidarity Centers" (XICS), implemented in more than 11 countries around the world, half of them in Africa. The main objective of the XICS program is to care for vulnerable children and youth through an integral approach, by providing them with education, health care and psychosocial support to make a real impact on their lives and those of their families.

-- Fox Soccer Channel is donating one bed net for every goal scored on it's broadcasts during the 2008-09 season and will air PSAs about the campaign featuring players from FC Barcelona, while Fox Sports en Espanol will also make a $10 contribution for each goal scored in its live and premiere telecasts of the Copa Nissan Sudamericana, FIFA Club World Cup, InterLiga, Mexican Soccer and Copa Santander Libertadores.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to bring global attention to a problem that is destroying lives and economies in Africa," said Peter Chernin, Chairman, Malaria No More and President and Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation. "Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and having organizations like FC Barcelona and AYSO helping to spread the message will make a huge difference and translate to thousands of lives saved."

"FC Barcelona is deeply committed to our world's main challenges through its Foundation program's by using sport as a powerful tool to benefit vulnerable children & youth to offer them a future of hope and well-being," said Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona. "In this case, soccer unites African and American children and gives them a unique opportunity to follow their dreams."

"AYSO exists to develop life skills not just soccer skills," said AYSO National Executive Director and former captain of the U.S. Men's Olympic Soccer team, Rick Davis. "We want AYSO kids to be fans of soccer and look up to players like Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez, Lionel Messi and the rest of the FC Barcelona players. We want to show our kids that they can join with these famous players to make a difference in the world. Helping to save the lives of other children across the world can have a real impact on their lives."

The program will be coordinated through the new campaign website and top fundraisers will have the chance to win FC Barcelona jerseys and the grand prize of a trip to Camp Nou, FC Barcelona's home stadium in Barcelona for a game.

Media Contacts:

Martin Edlund Justin Edelman

Director of Communications, Vice President, Edelman Sports

Malaria No More (212) 704-4430

(212) 710-5891

SOURCE Malaria No More
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