Ronaldinho tops bill in tsunami benefit match
World Player of the Year Ronaldinho and
European Footballer of the Year Andriy Shevchenko will lead two teams at
the Nou Camp on Tuesday in a benefit match to raise funds for victims of
the Asian tsunami.
The 'Football for Hope' match will feature more than 50 of the world's
best known players including Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane and David
Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard
will manage Brazilian Ronaldinho's 'World' side and Italy coach Marcello
Lippi and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will manage the 'European' team.
Italian Paolo Maldini, German Michael Ballack and France's Thierry Henry
will join Frenchman Zidane, England's Beckham and Ukraine's Shevchenko
in the European side.
Ronaldinho's World team will include Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast,
Brazilian Kaka, Argentina's Javier Zanetti and South Korea's Park
Italian referee Pierluigi Collina will take control of the match and be
assisted by Mohamed Saeed from the Maldives and Jason Joseph Damoo from
Barcelona president Joan Laporta offered the services of the 98,000 seat
Nou Camp for free.
"I was horrified when I saw the disaster on the television. Horrified
because it was a tragedy that killed innocent human lives," Laporta told
the official website of world body FIFA.
"The scale of it was so huge, in fact, that it called upon each and
every one of us to come together to help in any way we can.
"I think football basically unites people against injustice, unfairness,
and racism. Football is a union of players of all colours and creeds and
brings people together at the same time, so it is very important to send
out a positive message. Football should set an example."
The proceeds from the game, which has been jointly organised by FIFA and
European counterpart UEFA, with support from the Spanish FA and
Barcelona, will be donated to the FIFA/AFC (Asian Football Confederation)
Solidarity Fund, which has been set up in response to the tragedy.
The "Football for Hope" match is just one of a number of major sporting
events that have been organised across the world to support victims of
The International Cricket Council (ICC) raised more than $11 million
(5.8 million pounds) for the survivors with a charity match in January
and have another planned for April.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) have a game arranged for March 5 at
Twickenham, while the Asian and European Tours of Golf have donated
In horse racing the Coolmore stud raised $3.5 million by auctioning the
services of their stallions and in the world of tennis top players have
auctioned their rackets, and donated their winnings from the Chennai