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Match Against Poverty in Support of Haiti and Pakistan

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Uploaded on Dec 14, 2010

More than 33,000 spectators join 8th Match Against Poverty in support of Haiti and Pakistan

Athens- 14 December 2010. More than 33,000 fans demonstrated solidarity with those most in need at the eighth annual Match Against Poverty played tonight in the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, Greece for a friendly match in support of recovery efforts in Haiti and Pakistan. As in previous years, the United Nations Development Programme, and two of its goodwill ambassadors, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo, organized the match in support of the Millennium Development Goals, which seek to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods worldwide by the year 2015.

This year, the host football club, Olympiacos, invited more than 50 international players hailing from teams across the world to compete in the heavily star-studded match, which was broadcast live in more than 30 countries. Several retired and former players from Olympiacos joined the match to form an all-star team to play against Zidane and Ronaldo in the UNDP team.

"It is important that we reach out in solidarity with those affected by extreme poverty," said Zinedine Zidane at a press conference preceeding the match. "We can not allow the people of Haiti and Pakistan to suffer in silence. Through this Match we hope to let the world know that we are in this together."

"It really inspires me to see that despite the economic crisis in Greece that the people of this great country still come together in solidarity with the poor of the world," added Ronaldo. "I am really impressed that the stadium is sold out tonight."

UNDP Communications Director Stephan Dujarric said the Match is much more than a just a game because sport can a powerful tool that has a positive impact on millions of people. "Through sports we can bring people together to focus on a common goal, he said, "one of a world without poverty, and one in which everyone on the planet can live with dignity,"

This year's match is channeling half of the funds raised funds into recovery efforts for the catastrophic disasters that hit Haiti and Pakistan this year.

Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis said his
team will donate its share to "Argo", the Navy Union for parents of children with special needs, as well as to homeless and disadvantaged communities in Piraeus. "Although our country is mired in economic uncertainty and we have been living in difficult times, all of us are working together to build a vision of hope for our children. This is the vision and values of Olympiacos and the reason we decided to host this game."

While committed to the cause of the Match, both sides competed seriously and played hard for their teams. The UNDP team scored two goals in the first half against one for Olympiacos. In the second half however the home scored another goal to tie the match before it ended at 2-2.

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