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SBD Global/October 23, 2013/International Football

Brazil Football Club Sport Signs Up 57,000 Donors With Organ Donation Campaign

Not even death "can sever fans' links with their beloved football team, promises a campaign to boost organ donations in Brazil which has helped to cut waiting lists for cornea and heart transplants to all-time low," according to Andrew Downie of REUTERS. Some 57,000 fans of football club Sport "have signed up as donors in Pernambuco, the northeastern state where the team are based, since the 'Immortal Fans' campaign began 13 months ago." More than 30 top sides "actively encourage their fans to donate blood and several, including Corinthians, who last year beat Chelsea to win the Club World Cup," have put health messages or slogans on their strips. One club, Victoria, replaced its red-and-black hooped shirts earlier this year with white-and-black hoops "and only reverted to red when fans had donated a certain amount of blood." Sport's campaign "goes farthest and is certainly the most successful." Organ donations have increased 54% over the last year, "helping to clear the long-standing waiting list for cornea transplants in Pernambuco" (REUTERS, 10/22).
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