Stoitchkov delivers to Burkina Faso27 June 2011
a game of football with school children
© FAO / Ahmed Ouoba
Kossouka, Rome (FAO) -- The football team of Kossouka in Burkina Faso has received jerseys, shorts, socks and footballs from Bulgaria, promised to them by Bulgarian football star Hristo Stoitchkov on a recent visit to the country.
During his visit in March, in support of efforts by the European Commission's humanitarian aid sector (ECHO) and FAO to assist people affected by a food crisis in the Sahel, former European Footballer of the Year Stoitchkov played a match with the team of Kossouka and made a promise.
“Stoitchkov is true to his word," said the mayor of Kossouko, Justin Sawadogo, also praising the Bulgarian Professional Football League for its role in bringing the football kits to Kossouka. “Now they have delivered,” Sawadogo added.
Return to farming
The European Union has joined with FAO and the Association for European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) to raise awareness of the EU and FAO’s efforts to restore the self reliance of hungry people in need.
When disaster strikes, the EU works with FAO to help rural communities return to farming so that they can feed themselves again. In Burkina Faso, thousands of people were affected by drought that hit the Sahel in 2010.
FAO received around €1.8 million from the EU that it used to provide livestock and animal feed, as well as support to urban gardening and training, reaching some 80,000 people.
Bring the cup home
The mayor urged the players to double their efforts and to become a symbol of hope for Burkina Faso. "We will do our best to play even better with these kits," said the team’s striker Ouédraogo Issa.
“We promise to make Stoitchkov and the Bulgarian Professional Football League proud,” said coach Belem Saidou. The team has been playing together for ten years and reached the semi-finals of Burkina’s national cup last year. “This year we will bring the national cup home”.