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Match Against Poverty returns to Switzerland

United Nations Development Project ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane have announced the 11th Match Against Poverty will take place on 4 March 2014 in Berne.

Zinédine Zidane, Neymar and Ronaldo during the 2012 Match Against Poverty
Zinédine Zidane, Neymar and Ronaldo during the 2012 Match Against Poverty ©Getty Images

United Nations Development Project (UNDP) ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane today announced that the 11th Match Against Poverty will take place on 4 March 2014 at the Stade de Suisse in Berne.

The match, which will be televised to a global audience, has the full backing of UEFA and world football governing body FIFA. This will be the first time the event has been held in Switzerland since 2003, when the first Match Against Poverty was staged at St. Jakob-Park in Basel.

In a slight change to the format, the two former greats – who have traditionally assembled teams to play against each other – will be on the same side. Their squad of past and present footballers will take on BSC Young Boys and Friends, a mix of current and former players from the Stade de Suisse's occupants. The full stellar lineups for both sides will be announced in due course.

"Last year we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the match in Brazil and I am still very proud of its success. I am honoured that clubs such as BSC Young Boys have offered to host the event," said Ronaldo, now also a key member of the 2014 FIFA World Cup organising committee. "This year we are concerned about the situation in the Philippines and would like to help through the match."

UNDP administrator Helen Clark was quick to add her support to the project: "Our goal is to dedicate the proceeds of this 11th Match Against Poverty to help survivors rebuild their lives and help the Philippines on a path to recovery. As the Philippines works to recover from this terrible tragedy, UNDP is there in support and to help strengthen the nation's resilience to future shocks."

Hanspeter Kienberger, chairman of the board of Stade de Suisse Sport & Holding AG, expressed the honour that Young Boys and the city of Berne feel at hosting this important fixture. "We will do our very best for a successful evening in Berne in favour of people who are in difficult situations," Kienberger said.

Two-thirds of the funds raised by the match will go to helping around 13 million people who have been displaced or otherwise affected by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most destructive and powerful storms ever, which struck the Philippines in November. The remainder will be donated by Young Boys to Laureus Foundation Switzerland, part of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charity that gives practical and financial assistance to almost 150 national-level sport-based projects in 34 countries worldwide.