Falcao 'at the heart' of Western Union's PASS initiative

The scheme turns every pass in the Europa League into funding a day's education for young people around the world, with around 71 million children with inadequate schooling
Atletico Madrid star Falcao is "at the heart" of Western Union's PASS initiative "without knowing it", says vice-president Marc Audrit.

The Colombia international is an ambassador of Western Union's three-year PASS scheme which turns every pass in the Uefa Europa League into funding to support a day's education for young people around the world.

Unesco estimates that there are around 71 million children without adequate schooling and whose opportunities in life are therefore compromised.

"Falcao, without knowing it, is actually at the heart of the idea. I think the first time I saw him playing live was during the last [Europa League] final, which took place in Bucharest in May 2012," said Marc Audrit, Western Union's vice president.

"He did something that was very inspiring. When the game finished, and his team had won, the first thing he did was grab a Colombian flag.

"And then he put the flag over his chest and really started to celebrate, and showed that he was from Colombia in Romania. This was something we really valued, and something we observe everyday with our consumers.

"We call it ‘double belonging’. You may be a migrant living in the USA, Germany, France, or England for years, but I think the country you come from is still heavily in your mind, gut and heart.

"And we really thought someone embodying the beautiful spirit of 'double belonging' was a genuine example to become an ambassador for the programme."