Together we can Save Lives – III European Match Day Against Hunger

III Match Day Against Hunger, Lionel Messi, Liga BBVA, FC Barcelona v. Athletic Bilbao
III Match Day Against Hunger, Lionel Messi, Liga BBVA, FC Barcelona v. Athletic Bilbao

The European Leagues sounded up the alarm on food emergency on the Sahel region during the latest edition of the �Match Day Against Hunger� held from the 30th of March to 2nd April 2012. The campaign came across hundreds of football stadiums in Europe for the third and biggest-ever Match Day Against Hunger, involving 300 professional football clubs in 20 Leagues throughout 15 European countries, reaching millions of football fans.

III Match Day Against Hunger, Lega Serie A, Roma v Novara
III Match Day Against Hunger, Lega Serie A, Roma v Novara

Local engagement, global reach
Each EPFL League promoted the campaign at national level with sports programmes airing football matches and the official campaign video spot. Football players entered the stadiums wearing campaign’s branded T-shirts while banners and promotional flags were displayed on the pitches all across Europe. Team captains and referees wore the yellow whistles while signing match balls as a symbolic kick-off for sounding the alarm against hunger.
Press conferences have been organized all across Europe (e.g. in Bulgaria, Russia and Spain) with the outstanding participation of Football Player Ambassadors and League executives during the week previous to the Match Day in order to boost the attention of the media and public opinion.

III Match Day Against Hunger, Roberto Carlos Press Conference, Russian Football Premier League
III Match Day Against Hunger, Roberto Carlos Press Conference, Russian Football Premier League

In addition, the European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva and the Campaign Ambassadors Patrick Vieira and Steffen Freud participated to the EPFL General Assembly Gala Dinner in Manchester to launch the Campaign’s Video Spot and made promotional interventions at the Soccerex European Forum.

Media impact
Television, print media and social medial have played a prominent role in spreading the voice of the Match Day Against Hunger and the Sahel Emergency.

Video material with footage taken during the Match Day weekend was distributed to broadcasters on a worldwide video feed set up for the event. More than 25 renowned broadcasters from 20 different countries have requested access to it. In addition, the world’s largest television news agencies, such as APTN, Reuters TV, UNfeed and Eurovision together with other leading sports news operators have contributed to the redistribution of this awareness message on a global scale.

III Match Day Against Hunger, Roberto Soldado Press Conference, Spanish LFP
III Match Day Against Hunger, Roberto Soldado Press Conference, Spanish LFP

The Match Day also raised the attention of print/digital media with thousands of articles published on the event tracked at least in 13 different languages.
Social media and internet also played a crucial role thanks to the engagement of younger generations which were the primary target of this initiative:

  • Participating Leagues and Clubs posted campaign banners and articles on their websites and issued media release in their own languages.
  • Twitter: Hundreds of tweets were posted and re-tweeted by Leagues, Clubs, campaign’s partners and general followers. The hash-tag #FootballvHunger was one among the �hot trends’ promoted by the campaign.
  • In Spain, the LFP created a special web application where fans of various clubs can virtually ‘sound the alarm’ (http://www.pitadacontraelhambre.com)
  • Leagues and clubs supported the cause through official Facebook pages.
  • Official Flickr page (http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyF3PHN) with images taken all over Europe dative during and after the Match Day Against Hunger.
  • FAO’s official YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/FAOVideo).

 

III Match Day Against Hunger,  European Parliament President Martin Schulz at Borussia Dortmund v Stuttgart, DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga
III Match Day Against Hunger,  European Parliament President Martin Schulz at Borussia Dortmund v Stuttgart, DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga

BACKGROUND
III Match Day Against Hunger, Hristo Stoichkov Press Conference, Bulgarian Professional Football LeagueRight now in the Sahel region of West Africa, over 15 million people are at risk of becoming famine victims. Already, over 1.3 million children are suffering from acute malnutrition due to failed harvests, rising food prices and the impact of climate change. Many are worried that this could become the next Horn of Africa. Too many lives were lost last year because the world reacted too slowly.

Match Day Against Hunger is the flagship event of the “Professional Football Against Hunger” campaign, launched in 2008 by the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), representing the 30 largest professional football leagues and almost 800 clubs across Europe, and FAO, the United Nations agency leading international efforts to defeat hunger.
In 2010, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) – one of the world’s largest humanitarian donors – joined the partnership. The campaign’s focus turned to the work of ECHO and FAO in restoring the self-reliance of people struck by disaster.

Emergencies have the most devastating consequences for rural communities, where people depend mainly on agriculture for survival. FAO and ECHO help these communities return to farming so that they can feed themselves again. They also aim to address the underlying causes of vulnerability to increase people’s resilience to future shocks.

III Match Day Against Hunger, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo, Liga BBVA, Osasuna v Real Madrid
III Match Day Against Hunger, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo, Liga BBVA, Osasuna v Real Madrid

Participating Leagues
�sterreichische Fußballl Bundesliga (Austria)
Pro League (Belgium)
Bulgarian Professional Football League (Bulgaria)
The Premier League (England, UK)
The Football League (England, UK)
DFL Deutsche Fußballl Liga GmbH (Germany)
Super League Greece (Greece)
Lega Serie A (Italy)
Lega Serie B (Italy)
Lega Pro (Italy)
Eredivisie NV (The Netherlands)
Norsk Toppfotball (Norway)
Polish Professional Football League (Poland)
Liga Portugal (Portugal)
Russian Football Premier League (Russian Federation)
Football National League of Russia (Russian Federation)
Scottish Premier League (Scotland, UK)
Union of 1. SNL (Slovenia)
Liga Nacional de F�tbol Profesional (Spain)
Ukrainian Premier League (Ukraine)

Kristalina Georgieva with EPFL Board of Directors, DFL Football Ambassador Steffen Freud and FAO representatives during EFPL Gala Dinner in Manchester
Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva with EPFL Board of Directors, DFL Football Ambassador Steffen Freud and FAO representatives during EFPL Gala Dinner in Manchester

Football Ambassadors
The three Campaign Partners (EPFL, ECHO and FAO) want to specially thank the following Football Star Ambassadors for their full support and commitment to spread the voice in the fight against hunger:

  • Ra�l Gonz�lez (FAO Ambassador)
  • Patrick Vieira (FAO Ambassador)
  • Hristo Stockhov (EPFL/Bulgarian Professional Football League)
  • Herbert Prohaska (�sterreichische Fußballl Bundesliga)
  • Steffen Freud (DFL Deutsche Fußballl Liga GmbH)
  • Felix Magath (DFL Deutsche Fußballl Liga GmbH)
  • Francesco Toldo (Lega Serie A)
  • Vidar Riseth (Norsk Toppfotball)
  • Jerzy Dudek (Polish Professional Football League)
  • Roberto Carlos (Russian Football Premier League)
  • Roberto Soldado (Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional)

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