ROBBIE Williams, Usain Bolt, Maya Jama, Liam Payne, James McAvoy and Laura Whitmore are just some of the star names making their debut in this Saturday’s eSoccer Aid for Unicef.
The live FIFA ‘20 tournament is being held to generate donations for Unicef to help stop the spread of coronavirus and limit the impact on children’s lives – and every £1 donated will be matched by the UK government.
Eight live-streamed matches will take place, with players representing either England or the Soccer Aid World XI FC in a nod to the usual format. Players contest matches individually but their results will count to the overall England vs. Soccer Aid World XI FC score – and so dictate which team wins.
The matches include the respective captains for the day, Usain Bolt vs. Robbie Williams; James McAvoy vs. Liam Payne and Olly Murs vs. Roman Kemp. An all-footballer clash is also set to be announced on social media in the coming days.
Laura Whitmore, Maya Jama and Iain Stirling will guest host proceedings – with Iain also playing Sir Mo Farah! – which will be broadcast live on EA Sports’ Twitch channel on Saturday from 5pm. Viewers will be able to donate during the tournament.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, International Development Secretary, said:
“This superb event is raising funds to help stop the spread of coronavirus and limit its impact on some of the most vulnerable children in the world. I am proud the UK government is matching, pound for pound, all donations from the UK public to eSoccer Aid, and helping to support Unicef’s vital work across the globe.”
Usain Bolt said:
“I’m excited to be able to captain the side again, albeit in a slightly different setting. It’s incredible to see Soccer Aid World XI FC in the game and I can’t wait to get going in eSoccer Aid for Unicef playing with the team. I’m looking forward to seeing Robbie and catching up with him as we play. I hope everyone enjoys watching and remembers to donate!”
Liam Payne said:
“I am proud to be playing in eSoccer Aid on Saturday and am looking forward to playing my part! We are all coming together to support Soccer Aid for Unicef’s coronavirus appeal to protect children from the impact of the coronavirus. I hope everyone will join us on Saturday to watch and hopefully donate as the money raised is going to such a vital cause.”
Olly Murs said:
“It’s always a pleasure to be called up to do my bit for Soccer Aid for Unicef and it’s great to be able to come together online this weekend and raise money to stop the spread of coronavirus and the effects it’s having on children. With plenty of time on my hands recently I reckon I’m gonna give Roman a run for his money, so watch out, mate – I’m planning on bringing home that win for England!”
Roman Kemp said:
“This Soccer Aid World XI team is nothing short of incredible – it gives everyone the chance to celebrate some of the best players to ever have played football. I am more than ready to show Olly how it’s really done when we come up against each other. We are both competitive, so it’s going to be a big game. I hope everyone’s going to tune in and hopefully donate too because the proceeds will go to the important work that Unicef is doing to help stop the spread of coronavirus and preventing its impact on children’s lives.”
eSoccer Aid for Unicef follows the announcement of an exciting partnership between Soccer Aid for Unicef and EA Sports. The Soccer Aid World XI FC team is playable in the Kick-Off mode within FIFA 20 and features some of the biggest names who have taken part in the original celebrity-charity football match. Fans can finally play with ICONs in different modes within the game. The Soccer Aid World XI FC is available in-game on EA SPORTS FIFA 20 on PC, PlayStation and Xbox One.
Since 2006, Soccer Aid for Unicef, which is broadcast on ITV, has raised over £38m to help give children all over the world a childhood full of play. Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019, which raised a record-breaking £7.9m, took place at Stamford Bridge with England narrowly missing out to the Soccer Aid World XI FC on penalties.
The 2020 match was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday 6 June, at Manchester United’s Old Trafford, but was postponed in light of the current coronavirus situation. However, Soccer Aid remains committed to holding an event later this year.