Professional Football Against Hunger. The power of football, a key tool for advocacy

14 April 2008, Lisbon/Rome

Professional football against hunger
The power of football, a key tool for advocacy

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the Association of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) today signed in Lisbon (Portugal) a cooperation agreement to promote a series of initiatives aimed at sensitizing the public on issues related to food security and the fight against hunger.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Jacques Diouf, FAO Director-General, Sir David Richards and Emmanuel Macedo de Medeiros, respectively EPFL’s Chairman and CEO.

Dr. Diouf said that the EPFL-FAO partnership will “inform and sensitize public opinion about the devastating problem of hunger that still affects 862 million people.”

Sir David Richards noted: “Using the popularity of professional football in Europe, the EPFL can help raise awareness of food an poverty related issues that affect so many people throughout the world”.

The EPFL CEO, Emmanuel Macedo de Medeiros, assured that the European professional soccer leagues are proud to cooperate with FAO: “We have 862 million reasons to correspond to FAO’s invitation for partnership.”

Laurentino Dias, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Hermino Loureiro, president of the Portuguese League and several football high personalities and officials present at the ceremony expressed full support for the initiative.

The two Organisations believe that the power of football is a key tool in development and in advocating for the fight against hunger and towards the achievement of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDGs): to reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and poverty in the world by 2015.

Under the terms of the agreement, the EPFL, an association constituted by 27 members and associated members Leagues, comprising more than 900 football clubs across Europe, will promote, together with FAO, a series of initiatives related to the fight against hunger.

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