Ginola takes up landmine campaign

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The Independent Online
DAVID GINOLA, the footballer, promised to carry on Diana, Princess of Wales's battle to rid the world of landmines yesterday as he flew into war-ravaged Angola.

As the Frenchman, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, began a two-day tour of Angola in his new role as envoy for the International Committee of the Red Cross, he said he wanted to highlight the continuing menace posed by the devices.

He told reporters as he arrived in the capital, Luanda: "I've come to carry forward the cause of Princess Diana. We have to keep raising the world's awareness to keep Princess Diana's project alive, so that one day we can end this scourge that is landmines."

Mr Ginola announced last month that he had agreed to become the public face of the Red Cross campaign against landmines - a position held by the Princess before her death.

Officials for the aid organisation confirmed that Mr Ginola will repeat Princess Diana's symbolic tour of an Angolan minefield during her visit to the country in January last year. He will don the same type of body armour and protective headgear worn by the Princess, which led to some of the most enduring images of her work for good causes. A Red Cross spokesman, Paolo Dell'oca, who is co-ordinating the visit, said: "He will be visiting a minefield to see the clearance work, just as the Princess did.

"In doing so he will contribute to our project in much the same way as she did by showing that landmines remain a very real and frightening menace for millions of people around the world." Angola is littered with 11 million mines.

Mr Ginola, who has said that his role as a father motivated him to accept the position, will also visit orthopaedic centres and meet Angolan government ministers before returning to London on Wednesday. The tour of the country will include a football match with two teams of landmine blast survivors.

Mr Ginola, who advertises Renault cars and L'Oreal shampoo, has also modelled on the catwalks of Milan.

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