Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Asian Cup - Matches against hunger: opening game will show football solidarity with the world hungry and poor

Rome/Cairo, 05 Jan 2011 -- The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will dedicate a series of three soccer matches in the fight against hunger and poverty at an impressive show of football solidarity during the Asian Cup to be played in Doha, Qatar, promoted by FAO and AFC.

The first match to be dedicated to the fight against hunger is the opening match of the Asian Cup to be played on 7 January between Qatar and Uzbekhistan. Two other subsequent matches played by Qatar will also be dedicated to this Asian Football against Hunger campaign.

FAO will be represented at the event by Dr. Saad Aied Al-Otaibi, Assistant Director-General & Regional Representative for the Near East.

"A Match Day against Hunger is being organized so that players and football fans can deliver a message that uses the power of football and calls upon all nations, all leaders and all people of goodwill to unite efforts, to mobilise resources and to help us win this cause for the most basic right, the right to food", he declared.

This Asian Football against Hunger solidarity campaign is urging soccer fans to sign an online petition calling on governments to give priority to the elimination of hunger as well as to mobilize donations for FAO's TeleFood community-level food production projects.

"The 1billionhungry project" is a global outreach initiative of FAO and its partners which has over 3.2 million signatures.

This match day implements a partnership agreement signed between AFC and the FAO last 18 May 2010 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during a meeting of the Social Responsibility Committee of the AFC and FAO.

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