President Michel Platini was both supporter and coach at the UEFA-backed Match Against Poverty in Berne as football greats raised funds for Philippines typhoon victims.
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UEFA President Michel Platini was an enthusiastic supporter and coach at the Stade de Suisse in Berne last night as the football family celebrated the 11th UEFA-backed Match Against Poverty and helped raise vital funds for Philippines typhoon victims.
A glittering lineup of world stars gave their time to travel to Switzerland to take part in the match, which was attended by 21,000 fans, and assist in aiding the relief effort in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan last November, in which 5,000 people died. In the game the team featuring United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane and their friends beat Young Boys & Friends 8-6. The Young Boys side was composed of current and former players from BSC Young Boys, who are based at the Stade de Suisse, and was led by former Swiss internationals Stéphane Chapuisat and Hakan Yakin.
UEFA is a partner in the Match Against Poverty, and Mr Platini backed the cause by attending the game and serving as coach of the Zidane, Ronaldo and Friends team alongside Dutch great Ruud Gullit. The UEFA President met all the players in the dressing room, and spoke at length with Zidane about the UNDP initiative and other football matters. He then posed for the pre-match picture with the lineups, and sat on the bench next to Gullit, giving his insight into the on-field action.
"It was great to see so many stars unite around such a great cause," said Michel Platini. "Football is a global game and players can have a big impact in improving people's lives when they participate in charity events like this. It was a pleasure for me to attend the game in Berne and I think everyone in the stadium had a great time."
In addition to the funds raised for the Philippines, proceeds are being donated by Young Boys to Laureus Foundation Switzerland – part of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charity that offers practical and financial assistance to almost 150 national-level sport-based projects in 34 countries worldwide.