Match Day Against Hunger

Last updated : 30 March 2012 By Covsupport News Service

This weekend will see the 92 professional clubs from across England and Wales, as well as more than 200 other clubs from around Europe, join forces to support the Matchday Against Hunger Campaign.

The campaign started in 2008 and uses one weekend of the football calendar every year to highlight the plight of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

This year, the campaign is focusing on the food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa where over 16 million people are at risk of starvation.

Drought has caused one of the biggest ever food shortages and Matchday Against Hunger uses the power of football to highlight the plight of the people of Sahel and call on Governments, aid agencies and donors to work together.

Matchday Against Hunger is organised by the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) of which The Football League is an associate member. The EPFL is made up of 29 member and associated members leagues and comprises more than 900 professional football clubs across Europe.

By the time the last match this weekend is played on 2 April, the campaign's message and activities will have swept across the continent from Glasgow to Vienna and from Málaga to Novosibirsk, involving 300 professional football clubs in 20 leagues throughout 16 European countries, reaching millions of football fans.

Patrick Vieira, former French international star player and FAO Goodwill Ambassador, was born in Senegal, one of the affected countries. "We have a responsibility to those who are in distress through no fault of their own," he said.

"The right to food is a basic human right, and no one in today's world should go hungry."

Brazilian star player Roberto Carlos, who is the team director of Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala, added: "We are all diminished when somebody, in any part of the globe, dies from hunger. This is even more tragic when we know that these deaths are preventable. United we can save a lot of lives in the Sahel."

Former Italian national team goalkeeper, and the campaign's ambassador from the Italian Lega Serie A, Francesco Toldo commented: "The people of the Sahel may think the world has forgotten them. This weekend, European football will stand in solidarity with them. They will know that they are not alone."

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