Our World Cup campaign was given a massive boost at the England v Costa Rica warm up match which took place at Elland Road, Leeds on 7 June. We were delighted that Ikram Butt, White Ribbon’s sports programme coordinator was invited by the Football Association as a guest to the match, the last of their friendlies for England, prior to their departure heading off to Qatar for the World Cup competition.
Instances of domestic abuse increase during the world cup tournaments – our campaign highlights this and calls up all men to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. It was great for White Ribbon UK to be in the Royal Box amongst a host of dignitaries including the FA, Costa Rica officials and a number of former Leeds & England internationals to share such an important message.
Ikram was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the legendary Norman Hunter, one of the greatest players to ever play for Leeds, a former England international and, of course, World Cup winner in 1966. Norman was known for his tenacity on the pitch, however, was a gentleman off it. After talking to Ikram, Norman wore his white ribbon badge all evening. We could see people asking Norman what the badge stood for and him responding.
Other notable international stars supporting our cause included Nigel Martyn, former Leeds & England goal keeper.