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

"He actually did something that was very inspiring; that was, when the game finished, his team and Falcao won, the first thing he did was run in and grab a Colombian flag. And then he put the flag over his chest and really started to celebrate.

"But remembering in Romania, that he was coming from Colombia, and this was something we really valued, and this is something we observe everyday with our consumers.

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

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