40 international football stars join UNDP in support of Haiti

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Forty international football players hailing from teams across the world will compete in two heavily star-studded teams in Monday's seventh annual Match Against Poverty, held this year in Lisbon, Portugal.

For the past seven years, UNDP's Match Against Poverty has raised funds for global efforts to reduce poverty while at the same time shining a much needed spotlight on those efforts. This year, in the wake of the massive devastation that struck Haiti, the organizers and players decided that all proceeds will go toward relief and reconstruction efforts there.

The players, brought together through the efforts of UNDP Goodwill Ambassador's Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, include two rising Haitian players from the Portuguese Football Clubs, Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson, representing their recently devastated nation.

The Brazilian midfielder Kaká (Real Madrid) will represent Ronaldo who, unfortunately, is unable to attend the Match as he starts, on 24 January, the Brazilian football season with his Club Corinthians.

The Match is also intended to focus attention on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000. They seek to halve world poverty by 2015.

The Match Against Poverty is supported by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The complete list of confirmed players is as follows: Akwá (Angola), Kaká, Marcelo and Luciano da Silva (Brazil), Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic), Michael Laudrup (Denmark), Alfredo Esteves (East Timor), Graeme Le Saux (England), Zinedine Zidane, Fabien Barthez and Christophe Dugarry (France), Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson (Haiti), Baichung Bhutia (India), Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Phillip Cocu (Netherlands), Luis Figo, Fernando Couto and Pauleta (Portugal), Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu (Romania), Lucas Radebe (South Africa) and Fernando Hierro (Spain) will play for the Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends team. Rui Costa, Nuno Gomes, and former Benfica players will compose the Benfica All Star team. More top international names are expected to confirm in the coming days. More than 20 TV channels around the world will broadcast the match live.

The match will be refereed by Italian legendary Pierluigi Collina.

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