11 February 2013 The recent United Nations all-star charity soccer match in Porto Alegre, Brazil raised $360,000 for youth-oriented projects in Brazil and Cape Verde, the world organization’s development agency has announced.
“We are delighted by the support for the people of Brazil and Cape Verde,” Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator for the UN Development Programme said in a press release issued on Friday. “We are proud that UNDP’s 10th Match Against Poverty provides the opportunity for the public to participate in the fight against poverty and exclusion,” she added.
More than 50,000 fans filled the Gremio Arena Stadium on 17 December 2012 to watch the game, which featured some of the world’s top players, including legends Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane.
Ronaldo’s team, which was made up entirely of Brazilian players, beat Mr. Zidane’s 3-2.
Proceeds from ticket sales, broadcast rights and sponsorships from the match will be evenly split between two projects aimed at re-integrating marginalized youth, according to UNDP.
In Brazil, proceeds will fund the “Rede Esporte para Mudança Social (REMS)” a project that promotes poverty reduction and social inclusion through sports.
In Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of West Africa, UNDP will work with Afro Reggae, a Brazilian non-governmental organization, to improve education amongst marginalized youth.
The match follows nine successful contests, held in Basel, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Marseille, Málaga, Fez, Lisboa, Athens and Hamburg. Proceeds from previous matches have benefited projects in more than 29 developing countries, including recovery efforts in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and last year’s devastating floods in Pakistan.
“Every time we get together for this match we can help and make a difference,” said Mr. Zidane, who is also a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.
“We are very happy with the results of this edition, and we look forward to hearing about the results from the projects in Brazil and Cape Verde that will benefit,” echoed UNDP Ambassador and teammate Ronaldo.
The annual match - which was televised globally - is supported by both football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
News Tracker: past stories on this issue