Benjamin keen to see old-guard match

Benjamin said the charity match will see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo as well as former greats.

29 May 2020 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI







WINDHOEK

Brave Warriors great Collin Benjamin said the plan by Fifa to host a first-ever charity match would likely see former greats returning to the football pitch.

He mentioned Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo, former Brazilian player Ronaldo da Lima, former English midfielder David Beckham and French footballer Paul Pogba, who plies his trade for Premier League club Manchester United, as some of the players Fifa will likely reach out to.

If selected, the players will raise funds for Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT), which is described as a “global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new Covid-19 essential health technologies, including diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines”.

“Most of the current crop of players are very active for their clubs and are in crucial stages with their different clubs, with regulations regarding training getting lifted,” Benjamin said.

“Most are facing knockouts and fears of relegation, or planning on lifting the title. So, there will be a definite mix of past and present players,” he said.

His picks

“I would, however, like to see the likes of Jose Roberto da Silva Junior, commonly known as Ze Roberto; Ruud van Nistelrooi, a Dutch football coach and former player; Brazilian former professional Ronaldinho, and Zinedane Zindane, a French former professional and current manager of La Liga club Real Madrid featuring in this match,” Benjamin further said.

A former player who spent most of his professional career with Hamburger SV, Benjamin represented the Namibian national football team at international level.

He was also assistant coach to the national team from August 2018 until June 2019, when he stepped down.

Demonstrating solidarity

According to a press statement, Fifa president Gianni Infantino said that it is the world football body’s responsibility to demonstrate solidarity and continue to do everything to participate and support the efforts in the combat the pandemic.

“We have been active in raising awareness via several other campaigns, and Fifa has also contributed financially to this cause, but now we commit ourselves to organise this global fundraising event when the health situation permits.

“The Fifa Foundation intends to host the match to widen the reach of football beyond the traditional sporting network and into wider society to help support efforts at tackling the virus,” Infantino said.

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