President Barroso praises social function of Professional Football

The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, sided by the  EU Commissioner in charge of Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Development Kristalina Georgieva,  have expressed strong support to the EPFL-FAO-ECHO campaign “Professional Football Against Hunger”, in a meeting with the EPFL CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, the EPFL-FAO Ambassador for the upcoming Field Visit to Burkina Faso and Former Bulgarian National Team player Hristo Stoichkov, the President of Bulgarian Professional Football League Stefan Kapralov and the BPFL Manager Atanas Karaivano, in Brussels on 1 March 2010.

The leader of the European Commission  was informed about the EPFL social responsibility activities,  in particular the “European Leagues Match Day against Hunger” and the new EPFL-FAO-ECHO project aimed at developing and executing a high-impact awareness campaign in support of people hit by natural or manmade disasters and contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. The project will include a field visit to Burkina Faso, from 13 to 15 March 2011, which will also count with the participation of the EPFL Chairman, Sir David Richards. It will be based on ECHO-funded FAO activities and use FAO’s and EPFL’s expertise in communication and network to produce and disseminate a wide range of visibility material, representative of FAO’s activities funded by ECHO in Africa, Asia, Latin-America and the Caribbean.

Mr Barroso, anenthusiastic football fan himself, welcome the involvement of football star Hristo Stoichkov, who was also appointed EC Ambassador for Humanitarian Aid, and highlihled the social dimension of professional football and its the merits as a vehycle of promotion of human rights, social development and good causes.

Note of editor:

EPFL: The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) is a non-profit sporting organisation dedicated to constructively represent the common views of the major 30 Leagues and more than 950 Clubs across Europe – all Clubs, regardless of the sporting or economic dimensions. It gives the Leagues a forum and a platform to decide how best to deal the questions facing the modern world of sport and business. The Association embodies the common voice of Professional Football Leagues. Fostering co-operation, friendly relations and unity between all its Members Leagues and Associate Members, and exploring joint synergies with football authorities and relevant stakeholders, it aims to positively transform and add significant value to the football fabric of Europe.

ECHO: The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest humanitarian donor. Many millions of people are helped each year through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department’s (ECHO) 200 relief partner organizations: non-governmental organizations, the Red Cross family, and UN agencies like the UNHCR, FAO and the WFP. The EU constantly  strives to improve its aid to third countries struck by natural disaster or conflict in order to make it more effective. ECHO reflects this objective. Its assistance is based on the humanitarian principals of neutrality, non-discrimination and impartiality, which sets it apart from other types of aid given by the European Commission.  The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) was established in 1992. In 2010, the coordination of European Union civil protection assistance to crisis victims also became part of its responsibilities.

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