AFP
Last updated: 16 June, 2013

Platini vows to help young Syrian refugees

Michel Platini, president of European football’s governing body UEFA, visited Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan on Sunday, home to tens of thousands of Syrians, and vowed to help youths there.

“I am proud to see how UEFA is supporting football in Asia and helping youths in the camp overcome this difficult stage of their lives,” Platini was quoted as saying by state-run Petra news agency.

“Using football to create social change is still our objective. We will work hard to continue to back our efforts.”

As temporary home to more than 160,000 Syrians, Zaatari’s population is the equivalent to the kingdom’s fifth largest city, according to the United Nations.

More than 60 percent of the Syrian refugees are under 18.

Petra said a sports committee of Syrian refugees told Platini that “it is important to hold regular football matches in the camp”.

Platini and FIFA vice president, Jordan’s Prince Ali, toured the camp and met UN officials, and the UEFA chief also met King Abdullah II, a palace statement said.

Jordan says it currently hosting more than 500,000 Syrian refugees.