Soccer stars to score goal against poverty in Moroccan match, says UN agency

16 October 2008
Zidane and Ronaldo

World Cup winners and United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane, announced today that the sixth annual football “Match Against Poverty” will take place in Morocco next month.

Since 2003 the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors have captained two teams of international soccer stars in a bid to mobilize the public in attacking poverty and to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to halve world poverty by 2015.

“It is extremely motivating to see that the Match Against Poverty is reaching wider and wider audiences. This is the match that we all need to win,” stressed Ronaldo, the top Brazilian goal scorer.

Between 2008 and 2015 the Brazilian and French internationals are scheduled to play in eight games, each promoting one of the eight MDGs and the funds raised at the games going to projects supporting the goal spotlighted by the match.

“Every year I am looking forward to playing this game for such a just cause,” said Mr. Zidane, the former French national captain.

The theme for this year’s match in the northern city of Fés, the first to be played outside Europe, is centred on the goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Proceeds raised through the game will go to UNDP anti-poverty projects around the world, including a national project in Morocco.

“We are now more than halfway towards the target date, 2015, by which the MDGs are to be achieved,” said UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis.

“Despite many significant achievements, we need to continue our campaign to reach them. Initiatives like the Match Against Poverty… are an important contribution,” Mr. Dervis added.


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