24.04.2012 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

30,000 spectators at charity match in Algiers for the benefit of UNESCO projects for children in Africa


No less than 30.000 people, including many families, came to the charity match organized by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Rabah Madjer, on Monday 23 April 2012 at 5.30 pm at the 5 July 1962 Stadium in Algiers (Algeria), for the profit of UNESCO programmes on African Youth.

Thirty thousand people, including many families, attended a charity match organized by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Rabah Madjer in Algiers for the profit of UNESCO programmes for African Youth, on Monday 23 April 2012 at the 5 July 1962 Stadium in Algiers (Algeria).

“It was important to see many families in the stadium. This proves that it is possible to follow a football gathering far from the violence that affects our football,” said Madjer, after the meeting, adding “This gala match gives a beautiful image of our football. It is the victory of African brotherhood and football.”

The international selection, coached by the duo Bora Mulitinovic and Georges Leekens won 4-2 against the Algerian team led by Rachid Mekhloufi and Abdelhamid Kermali. Meanwhile, solidarity, fair-play and African children were the real winners of the match qualified as “a very beautiful symbol for Algeria and its youth” by Pilar Alvarez-Laso, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, who was also present in Algiers.

“With this gala match, you contribute in the best possible manner to the implementation of UNESCO’s programmes for youth in Africa, and we are very grateful for that” said UNESCO’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Director-General of the Organization, who commended the commitment of Rabah Madjer after the end of the game.

While stressing that “youth is a primary resource for Africa and a primary force for Algeria,” Pilar Alvarez-Laso also recalled that “UNESCO strives to support the youth of this continent. This is a priority for the Organization”. For the Assistant Director-General, “young people represent an enormous potential and we need to do what we can to channel their energy and make it a driving force for development and social inclusion. Sport is one of these catalyzers. We have seen it this evening. Sport has the power to bring us together. It’s a tool for social cohesion and autonomy.”

“Success comes by sharing good practices, implementing proactive public policies, and international cooperation, because examples of sports fair-play crosses borders,” she said considering that “this mission requires a lot of time, a lot of resources, and many relays in the field. It also depends on the engagement with young people of sportsmen like Mr Madjer, our Goodwill Ambassador, and the players present tonight.”

Rabah Madjer was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on 18 October 2011 in recognition of his work with young people and for his promotion of sports values. He reached stardom as an F.C. Porto player where he won the European Champion Clubs' Cup (today’s UEFA Champions League) in 1987, scoring in the final against Bayern Munich, a goal on one heel, act now branded into the memory of football fans which earned him the title of "African Golden Ball". After retiring from football, the Algerian striker coached several clubs including the national team of Algeria. He then became a sports TV consultant.

It was at his initiative that the greatest Algerian players from the 80s and 90s, including Guendouz, Kouici and Merzekane, agreed to confront on Monday April 23 an international selection also composed of veteran football stars: Alessandro Altobelli, Sonny Anderson, Vitor Baia, Gil Rui Barros, Thomas Berthold, Aziz Bouderbala, Fernando Couto, Khalilou Fadiga, Christian Karembeu, Sabri Lamouchi, Robert Pirès, Jean-Marie Pfaff, Adel Sellimi and Badou Zaki.

All proceeds from the match will be donated to UNESCO for the benefit of its programmes in favor of African youth.

UNESCO, the United Nations’ lead agency for physical education and sport, believes that sport is not only a powerful tool for promoting the ideals of peace, brotherhood, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice, but also a powerful force for social integration and economic development in different geographical, cultural and political contexts.

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