Sunday, 19 November 2017

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Football legends Ronaldo, Zidane to play AS Saint-Étienne All Stars for Ebola recovery

Match Against Poverty-Ronaldo-Zidane (©UEFA)

Geneva / St-Etienne – Football legends and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane will team up with other football greats for a match against an AS Saint-Étienne All Star team to help boost Ebola recovery efforts at the 12th Match against Poverty.

The star-filled friendly against top-tier French club Association Sportive de Saint-Étienne (ASSE) is set for 8pm local time (7pm GMT) on Monday 20 April at St-Etienne’s Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium. Ticket prices range from 8 to 12 Euros and are on sale here.

Two thirds of all proceeds will go towards helping the hardest-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone build back better from the Ebola epidemic. The remaining third will go to the Club’s Association, ASSE Coeur-Vert, which supports social projects in Saint-Etienne.  

"While efforts to stop Ebola are continuing, thorough recovery from its many consequences for the societies and economies of the epicentre countries must be planned now" said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark in Conakry, Guinea’s capital today.

"Millions of lives and livelihoods have been hit hard. We must all team up for the long term and support these countries to recover" she said.

Ms. Clark is visiting the three epicentre countries to affirm the UN’s continuing commitment to address the ongoing crisis and support for the recovery process.

The impact of the epidemic has made it far harder for millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people to make a living and the socio-economic impact will last long after the disease has been brought under control. The crisis is also fueling stigmatisation and further social and economic hardship.

UNDP is leading the UN’s actions on Ebola recovery and is coordinating early recovery actions in the three countries.

“Governments, development partners, NGOs and the private sector all have roles to play to support these countries as they recover from this crisis and equip them to deal with future shocks"  Helen Clark said.

“There will be no recovery if the transmission of the disease isn’t stopped, and without reconstruction of the social and economic fabric which has been damaged by the outbreak” she added.

UNDP programmes have helped authorities keep essential services running, worked with communities to identify cases, trace contacts and provide vital information on preventing the disease and helped thousands of Ebola response workers get paid on time.

UNDP has also conducted impact assessments to help inform national recovery plans.

Ronaldo, one of football’s best known Brazilian strikers, highlighted his motivation for joining the annual matches and called for more support for Ebola recovery: “We are delighted to play a part in helping people, communities and countries get back on their feet after the damage that Ebola has caused” he said.

France’s celebrated attacking midfielder Zinédine Zidane echoed the call for support: “Ebola isn’t over until the last case is treated, and we must stand by these countries for their long term” he said.

Since 2003, 11 Matches against Poverty have raised nearly US$ 4 million to support post-earthquake reconstruction in Haiti and Pakistan, Typhoon recovery in the Philippines, post-famine relief in the Horn of Africa and anti-poverty projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Roland Romeyer, Chairman of ASSE, hailed the people of Saint Etienne’s commitment to ending poverty and their love of the beautiful game: “Saint-Etienne’s population is characterized by its solidarity and solid passion for football” he said.

“The Match against Poverty has all the assets to attract spectators to an event that binds football and solidarity.”

ASSE is the most successful national club in French football history, having won ten Ligue one titles, six Coupe de France titles and a Coupe de la Ligue title.

The Match is supported by football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and organised in partnership with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

Tickets will be on sale from today at: http://www.asse.fr and ticket counters of the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 14, rue Paul et Pierre Guichard, 42000 Saint-Etienne.

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