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Sandro Rosell, at the China Foundation for Disabled Persons gala

Barça were involved in the China Foundation for Disabled Persons (CFDP) gala, the first of many events of an institutional and commercial nature included in president Sandro Rosell and his delegation's visit to the country.

This is a big event in China and is shown live on CCTV at peak viewing time. Sandro Rosell formed part of the table of honour, joined by Eugeni Bragolat, the Spanish ambassador to China.

Sandro Rosell in place of honour

The gala is an annual event to raise money for awareness of the plight of disabled people in China. It is one of the charity events of the year, and is supported by governmental agencies and personalities of all types. Other special guests included Yao Ming, who was at the Houston Rockets in the NBA for eight years. Since 2004, when the event was first held, it has managed to raise 30 million Yuan.

Rosell was among the 1,000 members of the audience, and appeared onstage to thank the Chinese authorities for inviting FC Barcelona. "It is an honour to take part in such a huge event because solidarity is one of the values that defines our club," he said. He then presented a number of Barça items for auction, including a shirt signed by the first team squad, which fetched an astounding 210,000 euros. In an off the cuff moment, the president, in expression of his gratitude and delight at this amazing donation, took off his FCB tie and handed it to the new owner too.

Apart from the shirt, another attraction was a signed ball, which went for 70,000 euros and a trip to Barcelona for four people to watch a Champions League match at the Camp Nou (128,000 euros).

Apart from the president, Barça was also represented by its vice president, Javier Faus; the director of Chinese origin Dídac Lee; director general, Antoni Rossich; and the commercial and marketing manager, Laurent Colette. All of these are on a three-day visit to China for a number of institutional and commercial appointments. For example, on Saturday they will be visiting the University of Beijing, where they will be meeting the mayor of the city.

CFDP, aid for the disabled

The China Foundation for Disabled Persons (CFDP) is the brainchild of Deng Pufang, son of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, and which works for the benefit of the more than 80 million disabled people in the Asian country.

Ever since it was set up, the CFDP, which has more than 200,000 employees, has raised 50 million euros in donations for people most in need, and is supported by the Communist Party, the local government and local and international organisations. The foundation is doing an important job to help disabled people all around the country, as well as other underprivileged communities, especially children.

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