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European football leagues will join forces to fight hunger

Baku, 20 October (AZERTAC). 16 European football leagues will dedicate their matches to the fight against hunger and poverty as an impressive show of footballing solidarity during the “European Match Day against Hunger” (22-24 October) promoted by FAO and the European Professional Football Leagues Association (EPFL).

The leagues are urging their fans to sign an online petition calling on governments to give priority to the elimination of hunger.

"The 1billionhungry project” is a global outreach initiative of FAO and its partners. Since its launch in May, the petition has attracted more than 1.6 million signatures. "This shows that people around the globe are deeply troubled by the fate of the world`s hungry,” said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. "They are urging governments to take more forceful action against hunger and extreme poverty.”

"Proud" was how Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of the EPFL, qualified the feeling shared by the Leagues by organizing, for the second year, this Match Day against Hunger. "The EPFL is with FAO, at the forefront of the fight for the most basic human right: the right to food. This is the moral duty of our generation,” he said.

Football can play a powerful role in keeping hunger high on the global agenda, said Frank Rutten, CEO of the Dutch Eredivisie. "Despite the fact that around one billion people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger, the problem often seems to be forgotten. The Eredivisie supports the European Match Day Against Hunger by working closely together with our European colleagues and using the universal power of football to raise awareness and progress in tackling the problem."

The EPFL/FAO “Match Day against Hunger” will bring together 16 professional football leagues and involve 314 professional football clubs playing in 157 stadiums across Europe. Millions of fans will see players, coaches and referees blow the yellow whistle, the campaign`s symbol signifying that it is time to stop the widespread suffering caused by chronic hunger. The yellow whistle, and with it the call to action against hunger, will be heard from Lisbon to Novosibirsk in Siberia to Glasgow to Palermo.

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