Television

Zee to telecast FIFA/UEFA football match live

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MUMBAI: FIFA and UEFA have joined forces to organise a 'Football for Hope' match in aid of the victims of the tsunami that devastated South and Southeast Asia and parts of Africa on 26 December. The match will take place at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona on 15 February.

Zee TV and Alpha Bangla will telecast the match live at 1:15 am on 16 February. Zee has got exclusive rights to the match in India, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. Zee had decided to telecast the match in its Bangla channel also looking at the craze for soccer in that region.

All proceeds from the "Football for Hope" 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). FC Barcelona has made its home stadium available for the event free of charge.

The cream of world football will grace the two teams taking part: the first led by FIFA World Player 2004 Ronaldinho, the other by European Footballer of the Year 2004 Andriy Shevchenko. The Brazilian impresario's side will be "coached" by Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brazil) and Frank Rijkaard (Netherlands), while Marcello Lippi (Italy) and Arsene Wenger (France) will take charge of the Ukrainian striker's line-up. The list of players includes such stalwarts as David Beckham, Michael Ballack, Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard, Del Piero and many more, informs an official release.

About the decision from Zee to telecast the 'Football for Hope' charity match, Zee Telefilms director Punit Goenka said, "We at Zee are committed to the cause of helping and aiding the tsunami victims, and this is another step in that effort. The Essel group of companies has made donations for the PM Relief fund and our employees have also contributed a day's salary to aid the relief efforts. We look forward to helping FIFA and UEFA with this noble cause."

FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter said, "Just like the rest of the international community, the worldwide football family is determined to do everything possible to help the individuals and football associations that have been so severely affected by the terrible tsunami tragedy. The 'Football for Hope' match is a symbol of the outpouring of solidarity within our game. It comes in addition to countless other

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