Hamburg to host 2011 Match Against Poverty in support of Horn of Africa famine relief

26 Sep 2011

image UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, Ronaldo and Zidane, at the 2007 Match against Poverty, Marseille, France.

Geneva/Hamburg – Football stars Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane announced today that the ninth annual Match Against Poverty will take place in Hamburg, Germany on 13 December 2011, with most of the proceeds going towards addressing the ongoing food crisis in the Horn of Africa.

As Goodwill Ambassadors for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ronaldo and Zidane will gather a team of other famous soccer players for a friendly game against an all-star side from German team Hamburger Sport-Verein (HSV). 

HSV is one of Germany’s oldest and most successful clubs, and the only one to have consistently played in the country’s football league, the Bundesliga, since it was founded in 1963. The 57,000 tickets for the match at the club’s Imtech Arena go on sale today.

The annual Match Against Poverty seeks to mobilize the public to fight against poverty and promote action on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - eight internationally-agreed goals which seek to end extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. 

Football legends Ronaldo and Zidane have been the driving force behind the Match Against Poverty since its inception in 2003. 

“I am proud of the success of the Match Against Poverty and very honoured that clubs such as HSV have offered to host the event,” said Ronaldo, who recently retired from professional football, and is eager to return for this latest edition of the match.

This year the organisers and players have joined the global effort to address the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa, where  more than 13 million people have been left in need by famine, drought, conflict and high food prices.

“Through the 2011 edition in Hamburg we hope we will be able to raise both awareness and funds for the people in need in the Horn of Africa,” said Zinedine Zidane, the current Director of Sport for the Real Madrid football club. “And, while I obviously hope to win, the Match Against Poverty is much more than a game: it is part of the global fight against poverty.”

Two thirds of the match proceeds will be used to bolster humanitarian and recovery activities in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The UN is working in these countries to provide emergency food aid, water, shelter and health services, while working on longer term development plans.

“We need to scale up these humanitarian actions to reach those in need before it is too late,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “At the same time, we must also focus on longer term solutions so that families are better able to cope when this kind of crisis hits.”

HSV will donate the remaining 33 percent of the event’s profits to the club’s initiative, Der Hamburger Weg (The Hamburg Way), to promote corporate social responsibility among its sponsors/partners, and to support diverse community development projects focused on sports, youth, education and protection of the environment.

Carl-Edgar Jarchow, chairman of HSV, said the entire team is honoured to be a part of this important event.  “We are glad to join in UNDP’s efforts against poverty this year. Football is a great way to get people together for a good cause,” Jarchow said. “The players are also really excited to be playing against legendary champions such as Zidane and Ronaldo.”

Proceeds from the previous eight Matches Against Poverty have benefited projects in more than 27 developing countries, including recent recovery efforts in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods.

As in past years, the Match is supported by football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The Match will take place at the Imtech Arena from 19:30 local time. Ticket prices range from 8 Euros up to 20 Euros and will be available as of today (26.09.2011) at www.hsv.de/ticket

Ronaldo and Zidane are part of an elite group of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, which includes other soccer stars Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas and Marta Vieira de Silva, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway, Japanese actress Misako Konno,  Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova and Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.

Contact Information

Aziyadé Poltier-Mutal
UNDP Communications Partnerships Manager - Mobile: +41793491610 Tel: + 41 229 178 368; e-mail: aziyade.poltier@undp.org

Hamburger Sport-Vereing, EV Sylvesterallee 7, 22525 Hamburg Tel.: +49 40 / 4155 1019