Former Vietnam striker to join world stars for charity match

By Hoang Nguyen, Nhat Tao    February 1, 2020 | 05:33 pm GMT+7
Former Vietnam striker to join world stars for charity match
Le Cong Vinh, the most prolific striker of the national football team, retired in 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Le Cong Vinh will join the likes of Didier Drogba, David Trezeguet and others for a bushfire relief match in Sydney on May 23.

The match, named Football For Fire, will raise funds and support victims of the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire.

Played at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, 21 former footballers from 16 countries, including big names like Drogba, Trezeguet, Park Ji-sung, Dwight Yorke and Claudio Marchisio have confirmed participation.

Organizers have said that they will announce more world famous players in the coming days. Two teams comprising the renowned footballers - Firefighters All Stars and SES All Stars – will compete for the Football For Fires Cup. The game will also be an opportunity for Australian fans to celebrate and say goodbye to retired Socceroos captain Mark Milligan.

"We have this important opportunity to harness the power of our global sport to raise funds to assist in the rebuilding of our local devastated communities and honor the brave men and women who have put their own lives at risk during this unprecedented natural disaster," said James Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Football Federation of Australia (FFA).

All proceeds from the match will go toward the restoration and improvement of facilities in fire-affected areas nationwide.

The list of former footballers that will play in the Football For Fires exhibition match in May. Photo courtesy of Football Federation of Australia.

The list of former footballers that will play in the Football For Fires exhibition match in May. Photo courtesy of Football Federation of Australia.

Deputy Minister John Barilaro said the money from ticket sales and donations will also help rehabilitate bushfire affected football clubs.

"Football stars from across the globe are lining up to be part of this fantastic match to raise funds to help restore football facilities damaged by the fires. Sport has that amazing ability to unite our regional communities in times of need and to get superstars past and present wanting to be part of this match is incredible," he said.

About 40,000 tickets go on sale from 12 p.m., January 30. Adult tickets start from $29 and family tickets from $59. Football supporters around the world will also be able to donate through the Australian Red Cross.

Le Cong Vinh was one of the best footballers for Vietnam till he retired, having netted 51 goals in 83 games. He is ranked 37 among top international goal scorers by country and has won three Vietnamese Golden Ball Awards.

Vinh was also the first ever Vietnamese footballer to play in a professional European league, when he moved to Portugal’s top flight league Primeira Liga side Leixoes S.C. in 2009. He scored one goal in two games that he played for the club.

 
 
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