Sixteen European Football Leagues will dedicate their matches to the fight against hunger and poverty as an impressive show of football’s solidarity during the “European Match Day against Hunger” (22-24 October) promoted by the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The Leagues are calling upon football 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 a 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 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. In his own words: “the EPFL is with FAO, at the forefront of the fight for the most basic human right of all: the right to food. This is the moral duty of our generation. The challenge of our civilization. And the way we choose to respond to it will determine how future generations will look up to us and judge the leaders of our time!”

”We take a unified approach on the fight against hunger,” said Tom Bender, Chairman of the Bundesliga Foundation. “Football has a high social responsibility which we take very seriously. This weekend, all major European leagues within the EPFL will utilize their collective media presence to push forward the battle against hunger.”

“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”.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Oct 2010