24 November 2010 - The Match against Poverty 2010
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane announced on 23 November that the 8th Annual Match Against Poverty will channel funds into recovery efforts for the catastrophic disasters that hit Haiti and Pakistan this year.The match, kicking off at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, Greece at 9:15pm local time on 15 December will raise awareness and funds for the nearly 25 million people affected by the Haiti earthquake in January and the Pakistan floods that started in July. As in previous years, the Goodwill Ambassadors will mobilize their team from across Europe to take on an all-star team from Olympiacos in a friendly match as part of the global effort to reduce poverty and achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Our goal with this 8th Match Against Poverty is to support the people and governments of Pakistan and Haiti to recover from the devastating natural disasters, which affected them so terribly in 2010,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.
“We are grateful to Olympiacos Football Club and our Goodwill Ambassadors Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo for uniting with UNDP to raise awareness and funds for those who are often too quickly forgotten", she continued. "With five years left to accomplish the set of eight goals,” said Zidane, “I hope this 8th Annual Match Against Poverty will help communicate a sense of urgency that we all need to join the team to end poverty now.”
Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Olympiacos Football Club, said he hopes the event will bring people around the globe together, breaking down stereotypes and frontiers. “Using football’s magic driving force, Olympiacos F.C. is on the pitch to raise an appeal against poverty and mobilize global action towards achieving the MDGs.”
UNDP will receive half of the match proceeds, which it will dedicate to ongoing recovery efforts in Haiti and Pakistan. Olympiacos will donate its share to “Argo”, the Navy Union for parents of children with special needs, as well as to homeless and disadvantaged communities in Piraeus.
Both programmes aim to counter a host of social ills ranging from extreme poverty, hunger and poor health care to inequality and social exclusion.
Earlier this year, in January, the 7th Annual Match took place in Lisbon, Portugal, where the Zidane/Ronaldo UNDP team took on Benfica, drawing a crowd of 55,000 spectators and raising more than half a million Euro (US$767,000) for the people of Haiti. The funds were used for a UNDP employment creation programme.
Information on ticket sales will be available at www.olympiacos.org as of 29 November.