11 March 2009, Rome – Over 200 professional football clubs, 100 stadiums and millions of football fans will be involved in the first ever Europe-wide football weekend against hunger being held from 20 to 22 March.
Aimed at raising awareness about the urgent need to fight hunger and poverty, exacerbated by the current economic crisis, funds raised during the football weekend will help to finance anti-hunger micro-projects around the world.
The match weekend is part of a “Professional Football against Hunger” campaign launched on 15 October 2008 by FAO and the European Professional Football Leagues on the occasion of the celebration of the World Food Day at FAO headquarters in Rome.
The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), is made up of 29 Members Leagues and Associated Members, comprising more than 900 professional football clubs across Europe.
Ever more hungry people
The “Professional Football against Hunger” campaign is intended to raise awareness of the plight of the 963 million people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition and who do not have adequate access to food.
The money raised in the campaign will serve to finance FAO TeleFood microprojects designed to provide immediate and lasting solutions to poor families and communities and enable them to produce their own food.
Earlier this year, a high-level delegation of European professional football leagues managers and football players from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal visited micro projects in Egypt as part of the preparations for the FAO-EPFL partnership’s global “Professional Football Against Hunger” campaign.
The micro projects, funded for a maximum of €7 000 each, are used to finance tangible resources such as fishing equipment, seeds and agricultural implements. They vary enormously, from helping families raise pigs in Venezuela, through creating school gardens in Cape Verde and Mauritania or providing school lunches in Uganda and teaching children to grow food, to raising fish in a leper community in India.
The Professional Football against Hunger weekend will include, among others major matches from Italian Lega Calcio and Pro Lega, German Bundesliga, English Premier League, Spanish League, Portuguese League, Dutch Eredivisie, Scottish Premier League, Bulgarian League and Welsh Premier League. In Portugal the 2009 Carlsberg CUP Final is included among the main games supporting the FAO/EPFL campaign.