Monday, January 30

Stars join UN benefit match for Haiti

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GENEVA: Forty past and present footballing greats, including Kaka and Zinedine Zidane, have enrolled for a benefit match next Monday for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the UN said.Two Haitian players playing in the Portuguese league, Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson, will join the line up for the Match against Poverty in Lisbon organised by the UN Development Programme.

The annual charity match normally raises funds to tackle global poverty but the focus has switched to Haiti, the UNDP said in a statement on Thursday.

“This year, in the wake of the massive devastation that struck Haiti, the organisers and players decided that all proceeds will go toward relief and reconstruction efforts there,” it added.

More top international names were expected to confirm they would join Pavel Nedved, Michael Laudrup, Fabien Barthez, Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Luis Figo, Pauleta, Gheorghe Hagi and Nuno Gomes, in the match between a Benfica All Star team and “Ronaldo, Zidane   Friends”.

The match backed by world and European governing bodies FIFA and UEFA will be refereed by Pierluigi Collina.

Ronaldo, one of the organisers, will be unable to join the game because his club Corinthians play their first match in the Brazilian season on Sunday. — AFP