Zinedine Zidane & Rolando/Sports Diplomacy, by Susan
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Sports icons, Zinedine Zidane & Ronaldo, advance diplomacy to screen, stage, and sports field. Soccer - "futbal" - is part of effort toward development and recovery. UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Zinédine Zidane and Ronaldo play a match against poverty with the local Athens team Olympiacos. The match this year is dedicated to recovery efforts in Pakistan and Haiti.
More than 30 international football players from top teams around the world competed in today’s (14 December) MATCH AGAINST POVERTY hosted this year by Olympiacos Football Club in Piraeus, Greece.
The players, brought together by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo, Zinédine Zidane, and Didier Drogba, included among others Pavel Nedved, Gio Van Bronckhorst, Mahmadou Diarra and Raúl Albiol.
The friendly match is part of an annual series aimed at reducing poverty and achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals. Proceeds from this year’s event will be used to support the nearly 25 million people affected by the Haiti earthquake in January and the Pakistan floods that started in July.
The match drew crowds in tens of thousands and was broadcast live on more than 20 national and international television networks to convey the message: “Let’s team up to end poverty”.
Zinédine Zidane UNDP Goodwill Ambassador:
“The message is clear and our game serves exactly that purpose, that through this game we can achieve certain things, that we don’t forget certain things. To return every year and to see so much interest, every time the stadiums are full. That proves that we cannot let go.”
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have provided support to the match, which is also intended to show that football can help in the fight against social ills such as poverty, educational exclusion, and inequality.
The MATCH AGAINST POVERTY has been held each year since 2003 at the initiative of Zidane and Ronaldo.
The 7th match in January this year drew a crowd of 55,000 and raised more than half a million Euros (US$767,000) for the people of Haiti.
Film Journalism “Zinedine Zidane & Rolando/Sports Diplomacy”