Scotland’s recent friendly match against Poland helped raise £500,000 for UNICEF’s Ukraine appeal, the Scottish FA has announced.
The match at Hampden Park was played on the date Scotland should have been playing Ukraine in the World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final, with that fixture postponed after the Russian invasion.
The Scottish and Polish FAs had announced that £10 from each ticket would go to help with humanitarian aid in the region, and a crowd of 39,090 attended the 1-1 draw at the national stadium.
Additional funds were raised through donations made by supporters, and through contributions form the Scottish FA’s commercial partners and sponsors.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive said: “Everyone at the Scottish FA has been overwhelmed – but not surprised – by the generosity of the Scotland fans and those who could not make the game but were moved to make a personal donation.
“We said at the time that football-related matters paled into insignificance compared to what the people of Ukraine are experiencing and continue to face.
“Along with the counterparts at the Polish FA, this was a resounding show of solidarity with a country and its people, while raising as much money to help them as we can in the process.
“It reinforces the Scottish FA’s belief that the power of football can be a source for good even in the most unimaginable situations.”
The funds will be used to establish four Blue Dot Centres, which are safe spaces along border crossings for those people fleeing into neighbouring countries. These provide children and families with practical support and the chance for children to feel safe, to rest, play and simply be a child.
UNICEF say over 5000 children and their families are benefitting from each centre every day.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive at The UK Committee for UNICEF said: “Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to the Scottish FA who organised the football match and to the nearly 40,000 people who came out to pledge their support for the children and families impacted by this crisis.
“The money raised will enable UNICEF to continue to provide emergency medical services, including medicines and health supplies, hygiene kits, safe water and shelter, as well as psychosocial support for those affected by the conflict. Thank you to the many people who made this possible.”