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sábado, janeiro 30, 2010

Match Against Poverty, 25-January-2010, Lisbon, Portugal

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  voiced appreciation to the international soccer legends set to take the field in this evening’s annual Match Against Poverty, which will donate all proceeds to relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti in the wake of the country’s catastrophic earthquake.

The game took place in Benfica's Estadio da Luz and on Eusébio's birthday!

For the past seven years, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has organized the match with its Goodwill Ambassadors and World Cup-winners, Zinédine Zidane of France and Ronaldo of Brazil, to generate funds for global efforts to reduce poverty.

This year, the star-studded teams – including former world player of the year Kaká who is standing in for compatriot Ronaldo – will play in front of a packed crowd in Lisbon, Portugal, to raise money for the people of Haiti devastated by the earthquake disaster on 12 January.

“I am delighted to know that the proceeds of today’s game will go to the millions of people there who need our solidarity and assistance,” Mr. Ban said ahead of the exhibition match.

“We at the United Nations welcome your solidarity at the country’s time of dire need,” he added in a message delivered by his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried Lemke.

Around 40 players – including two promising Haitian talents Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson , who are plying their trade in Portuguese leagues – will either line up for the Ronaldo, Zidane and Friends team or the Benfica All Stars.

Athletes taking part:
The following players are confirmed participants: Akwá (Angola), Kaká, Marcelo and Luciano da Silva (Brazil), Pavel Nedvěd (Czech Republic), Michael Laudrup (Denmark), Alfredo Esteves (East Timor), Graeme Le Saux (England), Zinédine Zidane, Fabien Barthez and Christophe Dugarry (France), Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson (Haiti), Baichung Bhutia (India), Edgar Davids and Phillip Cocu (Netherlands), Luís Figo, Fernando Couto and Pauleta (Portugal), Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu (Romania), Lucas Radebe (South Africa) and Fernando Hierro (Spain).

Example of solidarity
“As world-famous athletes, you are giving hope to children, young people and adults who have lost everything,” stressed Mr. Ban. “I call on the world of sport and its supporters around the world to continue to help the United Nations in its efforts to help the people of Haiti to recover and rebuild.”

The match, slated to be officiated by renowned Italian referee Pierluigi Collina, is also intended to focus attention on the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to halve world poverty by 2015 among its ambitious aims.

“This Match Against Poverty shows yet again how athletes, the UN family and the world of sport can work together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to build a better world,” said Mr. Ban, who took the opportunity to remember the victims of recent attacks on sporting events, most notably in Angola and Pakistan.

“Such horrendous acts must strengthen our resolve to use sport as a force for peace-building and reconciliation,” he said.
Source: UNRIC , A Bola