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Global poverty and football
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This went out to the press today so I'm sure it is OK for me to post it:

WORLD DEVELOPMENT MOVEMENT

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release: 9 June 2006

==========================================================================================
whoshouldicheerfor.com: World Cup website for the Make Poverty History generation launched ==========================================================================================

Today sees the launch of a website that answers the question every World Cup fan asks when their home team isn’t playing (or didn’t qualify): who should I cheer for?

During the World Cup, globally conscious football fans can visit the website ‘www.whoshouldicheerfor.com’ and see how countries measure up on various poverty, ethical and global citizenship criteria to help them decide who they want to support in each match.

Countries are ranked, using official UN or World Bank figures, on ten criteria including: third world debt, life expectancy, aid generosity, contribution to climate change, corruption and military spending. The website has been created by anti-poverty campaigners the World Development Movement (WDM) who were one of the founders of the Make Poverty History coalition.

WDM Director Benedict Southworth said: “This is a website for the Make Poverty History generation. Millions of people wore a white wristband this time last year to show their support for action to tackle global poverty. Now they can find out which World Cup countries are the best aid givers, the most indebted or the least corrupt and cheer them on.

“whoshouldicheerfor.com is a fun and interesting way to think about a serious issue, that of global poverty and inequality between the nations competing in the World Cup.

“When their favourite team isn’t playing many people will want to shout for a country that has the odds stacked against them. Some of the poorest countries in the world are playing in Germany, let’s give them some support.”

WDM has even produced an overall World Cup supportability ranking for each country by averaging their position across all of the ten criteria. Ghana comes out as on average the most supportable team with Sweden second. At the other end the USA is the least supportable.

Benedict Southworth said: “Our World Cup supportability rating is not an overall ranking of how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we think each country is. It is intended to be a fun and interesting way to think about a serious issue, that of global poverty and the inequality between the nations competing in the World Cup. People might want to choose one of the criteria that is particularly important to them when choosing who to support or they might just look at the average across all the criteria.”

As well as learning about the countries taking part in the World Cup anyone visiting whoshouldicheerfor.com can send an email to Tony Blair asking him to keep the promises he made to poor countries at last year’s G8 Summit.

Benedict Southworth said: “At its best the World Cup is all about fun and uniting diverse people around the world behind a shared passion for the beautiful game. But we also want people to think about the massive poverty suffered by some of the countries competing, and demand that the richest countries keep the promises they made last year to do something about it.”
ENDS

Notes:
The World Development Movement was founded in 1970. It campaigns to tackle the root causes of poverty. WDM believes that charity is not enough and aims to change the policies that keep the developing world poor. It is a democratic and politically independent organisation with 16,000 supporters and a strong role for 70 local groups across the UK.

WDM was a founder of the Fairtrade Foundation, Jubilee 2000 and Make Poverty History.

Contact:
Dave Timms, Senior Press Officer, WDM on 07711 875 345 or 020 7274 7630



Whose Rules Rule? 06 – Challenging the corporate water takeover
Saturday 8th July 2pm to 5.30pm Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London
Bianca Jagger, Oscar Olivera and Benedict Southworth on tackling the global water crisis
Plus the big debate: privatisation or public control?
Visit www.wdm.org.uk/wrr for full details and to book your free ticket

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