Match Against Poverty

The Match against poverty is organized every year since 2003, at the initiative of football legends and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Zinédine Zidane and Ronaldo, to raise awareness and mobilize public opinion for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Previous Matches

  • 2012: Porto Alegre, Brazil - The 10th Match Against Poverty raises US $360,000 to support UNDP projects in Brazil and Cape Verde
  • 2011: Hamburg, Germany - The 9th Match against Poverty raised more than US$100,000 for humanitarian and relief operations in the Horn of Africa.
  • 2010: Athens, Greece - Match against Poverty raises $ 540,000 for recovery efforts in Haiti and Pakistan
  • 2010: Lisbon, Portugal - Match Against Poverty raises $ 760,000 for Haiti
  • 2008: Fes, Morocco - $ 180,000 collected to finance projects in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America
  • 2008: Malaga, Spain - Fifth Match against Poverty brought together 30,000 fans
  • 2007: Marseille, France - Zidane and friends prevail in 2007 Match Against Poverty
  • 2005: Dusseldorf, Germany - $ 450,000 are raised for projects in Ethiopia, Maldives, Burkina Faso, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cuba

Adopted in 2000 and re–affirmed by the leaders of 191 countries at the UN Summit in 2005, the Goals seek to halve world poverty by 2015 by setting targets for rolling back hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.

"The fight against poverty is not a game," says Ronaldo. "We use this match as a way to raise funds and to make people aware of the fact that the solution to this problem is in our hands. It is by working together that we will all win the Match against Poverty.

Ronaldo and Zidane are respectively at the helm of two international teams competing during a friendly match. The objective is to raise funds to support specific development projects selected by UNDP.

The annual match - which is televised globally - is supported by both football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The Match in Porto Alegre follows nine successful editions that took place in Basel, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Marseille, Málaga, Fez, Lisboa, Athens and Hamburg. Each year funds raised support specific projects in different countries facing difficult challenges.

Proceeds from the 10th Match in Brazil will be evenly split between two projects – one in Brazil and one in Cape Verde, West Africa, both aimed at re-integrating marginalized youth. In Brazil, proceeds will fund the “Rede Esporte para Mudança Social (REMS)” a project that promotes poverty reduction and social inclusion through sports.

In Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of West Africa, UNDP will work with Afro Reggae, a Brazilian non-governmental organization, to improve education amongst marginalized youth.