One of the problems facing Africa today is extreme poverty which stems out of a number of factors. In fact, it is the first goal of the Millennium Development Goals; Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. While some have argued that the target date is unrealistic, I would like to point out that the goal says, eradicating extreme poverty. This means that, we may not be able to completely wipe off poverty in 2015 or even extreme poverty for that matter. But, with concerted efforts, we can definitely reduce the ratio.
Talking about concerted efforts, the UN has Goodwill Ambassadors who are at the top of their field and share a deep concern for the world’s poor and a commitment to making the planet a better place. In line with this, Ronaldo started the poverty match in 2000 to help move the world against poverty in the new millennium. According to him, “The struggle against poverty is not a game but we use this match to raise both funds and awareness that the solution is in everyone’s hands”.
The match has been held every year since 2000 in different countries with the funds realised set out for a different project each year with focus on poverty. This year, the match will be played at the Gremio Arena in Port Alegre, Brazil, to raise awareness on global poverty. The match will raise funds through the sale of tickets, sponsorship and broadcast rights to support projects to help reduce poverty in Africa and Brazil.
Ronaldo will be playing against Zinedine Zidane in the poverty match. This would be Zinedine’s first time to play in Brazil and he says, “Though a friendly match, I am excited to play against Ronaldo and his friends. The match promises to be a star packed one with the likes of Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, Djalma Feitosa Dia of Brazil, Fernando Couto of Portugal among many others expected to play. The referee of the match will be Italian legend, Pier Luigi Colina.
Already, 35,000 tickets have been sold for this year’s poverty match which will take place on the 19th of December, 2012. Let all lovers of football who can make it to the venue make it a point of obligation to be there.
I am not such a fan of soccer but if I could, I would get the tickets, board the next available flight and be at that arena to support the cause which Ronaldo has started. Besides, it would be an experience to watch such legends and stars play at the same time, same day and on the same spot.
Information culled from the UNDP. Visit for more details.