Wenger to coach team for tsunami aid match

Click to follow

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, will jointly coach one of the sides in the "Football for Hope" benefit match to help victims of the Asian tsunami.

The match, organised by Fifa and Uefa, will be played at Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium on 15 February.

The sport's world and European governing bodies said that one side would be led by the World Player 2004, Ronaldinho, and the other by the European Footballer of the Year, Andrei Shevchenko.

The Brazilian's team will be jointly coached by Brazil's World Cup-winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard while the Juventus coach, Marcello Lippi, and Wenger will take charge of the Ukrainian striker's line-up. The players for both sides will be announced shortly.

All proceeds from the match will be donated to the Fifa/AFC Tsunami Solidarity Fund, which has been set up jointly by Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

"The 'Football for Hope' match is a symbol of the outpouring of solidarity within our game. It comes in addition to countless other initiatives that have already begun, through which the game of football is seeking to offer some hope to those in need." Barcelona have made their stadium available free of charge, the joint Fifa/ Uefa statement said.

"The tragedy that has struck the nations around the Indian Ocean has provoked an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity around the globe," said the Uefa president, Lennart Johansson. "The football community has a duty to be a party to this overwhelming demonstration of human togetherness. We hope that the message of hope disseminated by the world of sport will help to alleviate the terrible suffering endured by those stricken by this disaster."

Uefa also said yesterday that it is giving $1m (£531,000) to the International Committee of the Red Cross to help tsunami victims. The money will be used to help children, mainly in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

The European governing body has given a further $1m to a fund set up by Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation to help affected football associations as well as the local population. Associations in India, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand are all actively involved in efforts to provide aid for victims and support for the reconstruction of key installations.

Fifa is also distributing equipment and clothing, including footballs, T-shirts and caps.

Comments