Match Day Against Hunger 2012 kicks off March 31

    Kristalina Georgieva, EU commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, Raúl Gonzalez Blanco and Androulla Vassiliou, poses for the campaign "European Professional Football against Hunger." Photo by: European Commission

    When European football clubs play simultaneous matches March 31 and April 1, expect a lot of goals to be scored. But one goal trumps all others: to raise awareness about the humanitarian situation in Africa’s Sahel region.

    F.C. Barcelona, F.C. Schalke, Juventus and Real Madrid are only some of the more than 300 professional clubs from 20 European football leagues set to participate in Match Day Against Hunger — a series of matches to be played in 15 European countries.

    The event is the highlight of the “Professional Football Against Hunger” campaign of the Association of European Professional Football Leagues, the European Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

    The event will serve as a “megaphone” to highlight the need for urgent action to avert a looming humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Niger, EPLF Chairman David Richards said.

    “Football is the great global unifier,” Richards noted. “The leagues and the players know the power and popularity of our sport and we are proud to use that power to tell stories that otherwise would not be told.”

    A schedule of games for Match Day Against Hunger is available online.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.