UEFA is giving its backing to the annual Match Against Poverty, which takes place in Greece on Tuesday 14 December and provides an ideal platform for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
As in previous years, UNDP goodwill ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane will mobilise their team from across Europe to take on an all-star side from Olympiacos FC in a friendly match, as part of the global effort to reduce poverty and achieve the United Nations' eight millennium development goals (MDGs).
The game will kick off at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus at 21.15 local time on 14 December. It will raise awareness and funds for the millions of people affected by the Haiti earthquake last January and by the Pakistan floods that started in the summer.
UEFA and its president, Michel Platini, are once again lending their support to the event. "The Match Against Poverty is a unique and fantastic platform to draw attention to the United Nations Development Programme which aims to raise funds and address global poverty," Mr Platini said. "This year it will be for the millions of people affected by the earthquake in Haiti and by the floods in Pakistan.
"Of all sports perhaps only football, with its global appeal and simple rules of fair play, is uniquely placed to bring people together in such a way and to raise awareness of these global issues," the UEFA president added. "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."
The UNDP is the United Nations' global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life, and the Match Against Poverty represents an ideal means of underlining the challenge of addressing global poverty.
The MDGs were adopted in 2000 and reaffirmed by the leaders of 191 countries at the UN summit of 2005. The millennium development goals seek to halve world poverty by 2015 by setting targets for rolling back hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.
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