30 international football stars join UNDP to support Haiti, Pakistan
|UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Zidane and Ronaldo at the first Match Against Poverty in December 2003.|
Geneva / Piraeus - More than 30 international football players from top teams around the world will compete in Tuesday’s Match Against Poverty hosted this year by Olympiacos Football Club in Piraeus, Greece.
The players, brought together by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo, Zinédine Zidane, and Didier Drogba, will include among others Pavel Nedved, Gio Van Bronckhorst, Mahmadou Diarra and Raúl Albiol.
The friendly match is part of an annual series aimed at reducing poverty and achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals. Proceeds from this year’s event will be used to support the nearly 25 million people affected by the Haiti earthquake in January and the Pakistan floods that started in July.
The match is expected to draw crowds in tens of thousands and will be broadcast live on more than 20 national and international television networks to convey the message: “Let’s team up to end poverty”.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have provided support to the match which is also intended to show that football can help in the fight against social ills such as poverty, educational exclusion and inequality.
UEFA president, Michel Platini, is once again lending his support to the event. "I send my wholehearted support to all those involved in this special match, including the UNDP goodwill ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane, and all the players and fans who will attend," said Mr. Platini.
The Match Against Poverty has been held each year since 2003 at the initiative of Zidane and Ronaldo. The 7th match in January this year drew a crowd of 55,000 and raised more than half a million Euros (US$767,000) for the people of Haiti.
Tuesday’s event will be refereed by Massimo Bussaca, a Swiss referee from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The list of confirmed players is as follows: Zinedine Zidane (France), Ronaldo (Brazil), Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire), Pedro Pauleta, Fernando Couto, Sá Pinto, Luís Boa Morte and Nuno Gomes (Portugal), Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic), Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Ronald de Boer and Gio Van Bronckhorst (Netherlands), Gheorghe Popescu (Romania), Luciano da Silva, William and Sonny Anderson (Brazil), Raúl Albiol (Spain), Mahmadou Diarra (Mali) and Sabri Lamouchi (France) will play for the Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends team. Former and current Olympiacos players will make up the Olympiacos All Star team. Full rosters are available in the PDF files below.
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