|The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s joint Asian Football against Hunger campaign this season will end with the grand finale of the AFC Champions League (ACL) on Saturday.|
Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli and Korea Republic’s Ulsan Hyundai will meet in the final to complete the knockout stage of Asia’s most prestigious football championship. Football fans will be urged to unite once again and offer their support to poor Asian communities facing hunger and food insecurity.
This follows the success of last year’s campaign when AFC and FAO raised over US$400,000 during the AFC Asian Cup 2011 in Qatar to finance 43 projects offering concrete solutions to people in need, helping them to feed themselves and build a better life.
Al Ahli and Ulsan Hyundai football club ambassadors, Mansour Ateeq S Alharbi and Kwak Tae Hwi respectively, were recognised for their great efforts in advocating for Asia’s hungry. Other top football clubs who participated in this solidarity campaign include Sepahan (Iran), Guangzhou Evergrande (China), Adelaide United (Australia), Al Hilal, Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia) and Bunyodkor (Uzbekistan).
“I am thankful to the clubs who voluntarily participated in this campaign, some of whom even made a financial contribution to this noble cause,” said Mr Ingill Ra, Social Responsibility Director of the AFC. “The AFC is not only about organising competitions and developing football on the continent but also our off-the-field initiatives, which have helped to build society and also gained significant attention throughout the world.”
Mr Hiroyuki Konuma, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for FAO added, “Citizen support is key to steering political attention towards the plight of the hungry people in the world. The AFC Champions League has succeeded in bringing this issue to the attention of millions of football fans. We are proud to stand united with the AFC in the global drive to end hunger.”
During the ACL final between Al Ahli and Ulsan Hyundai, fans will see players publicly pledge their support to the initiative holding campaign banners and flags. 563 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition in Asia and almost 870 million throughout the world.
Asian Football against Hunger is the first campaign to grace the prestigious AFC Champions League.
Individuals can support the campaign by making a donation at www.endinghunger.org/afc.