10 March 2020

Anoesjcka Gianotti to launch charitable auction inspired by husband and former Chelsea keeper Carlo Cudicini

Sport and fashion are coming together for a charity auction with sustainability at its core.

The woman behind the event, Anoesjcka Gianotti, was inspired by her husband and former Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

Footballers4Change are hosting a four-day auction where they are selling sports memorabilia as well as men's clothing. Women's and children's clothing is also available but will have fixed prices.

Some of the items up for grabs include Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy's signed boots and Tottenham Hotspur winger Son Heung-min's shirt. 

England manager Gareth Southgate and Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris have also donated items with the proceeds being donated to their chosen charities.

Cudicini played for Chelsea for 10 years (PA Images)

Gianotti says her husband inspired the concept.

"I've been in the fashion industry prior to this initiative and after the football season would end, Carlo would come back with his kit that they train in during the season. Normally we would send it home or to friends and family, or donate it to charities.

"I packed it up and donated it to our local charity one day and when I came home I had two letters from fans asking for something to be signed.

"I thought how we connect these two? How can you tell the fans that his items are at this charity shop? How would they believe that these items are in fact his? 

"But I thought, we are living in a digital age, so we created a platform where we can authenticate his items and we could raise probably a little bit more money for the causes he's been supporting anyway.

"Football is the most powerful force in sport. The awareness that football can create is off the scale, there are 3.5 billion fans.

"I think the identity fusion that the fans have with the clubs and the players is so strong that football is able to create great awareness across the globe.

"With this initiative we can set an example of raising awareness for sustainability and save these clothes from going to landfills and make the re-using of clothing trendy, so I think football does have that power to create change globally."

England at the World Cup semi-final last summer (PA Images)

As well as male footballers donating to the initiative, Gianotti is also in talks with the England women's team.

"We're talking to the Lionesses, fingers crossed we'll get them on soon as I'd love to have them on board. That's our ethos at the moment to celebrate both male and female footballers."

The auction will take place on April 24th and Gianotti already has plans for a second one in early September.

"Yeah absolutely we have the plans in place to continue and we also want to see how fast we can do these auctions in case there's a natural disaster like the bushfires.

"We can get the community together to sign a shirt or something and raise money for these disasters. It's trial and error at the moment to see how fast can we get the support together."

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