2019 European Elections gets backing from professional footballers
Dozens of professional footballers from across Europe have joined a campaign by the European Parliament and FIFPro to promote this week's 2019 European Elections.
German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, Sweden midfielder Nilla Fischer and Finland captain Tim Sparv are among those to send out the message for people across the European Union to go out and vote.
The elections take place from 23-26 May 2019.
The campaign, using the hashtag #thistimeimvoting in multiple European languages, encourages citizens to use their vote to help share the European Union's future.
Portugal captain Cláudia Neto, Bulgaria midfielder Svetoslav Dyakov and Stefan Schwab of Austria are among other national-team players participating in the continent-wide initiative.
Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Trapp, who played 45 matches on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt this season, said it's important that citizens contribute to the European Union's future.
Fischer, who has played more than 150 times for Sweden, is leaving Wolfsburg after six years to return to Linköpings FC. She said she planned to use her vote to "fight for equal rights."
"It's really important that we take a stand and that different players take a stand to get people to vote because it does matter," Fischer said. "It's very, very important to take part in elections."
The campaign is supported by 10 European player unions: AIC (Italy), VDF (Austria), HUNS (Croatia), AFE (Spain), SJPF (Portugal), SFS (Sweden), SPINS (Slovenia), CAFH (Czech Republic), JPY (Finland), and PASP (Cyprus).
FIFPro Europe general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffman said he was delighted by the support from players and their unions.
"We would like to thank every single footballer player involved in this campaign," Baer-Hoffman said. "It is fantastic they are using their prominent public profile to encourage citizens across Europe to vote."
Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT), President of the European Parliament, said he was grateful to football players for their contribution to the #thistimeimvoting campaign.
"I am very pleased to see the involvement of so many European professional footballers in this campaign,'' Tajani said. "This is testimony to the unity and pride that Europeans feel about their continent and sends a strong message about protecting the future of Europe."