Johannesburg (June 17th, 2010) Today it was announced that the “Celebrate Africa—The Grand Finale Concert” in Johannesburg on July 9, 2010 will be organised in support of the United Against Malaria (UAM) partnership (www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org). The Concert will add to the lasting legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first held on Africa soil, by generating further support and awareness in the fight against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that takes the life of an African child every 30 seconds.

AVID Soccer News United Against MalariaThe Concert will feature the multi-award winning Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and special guests including the celebrated Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, and South Africa’s own soprano sensation, Pretty Yende, and will raise awareness for United Against Malaria–a partnership of football teams and players, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals who have united ahead of the 2010 World Cup to build support to reach the international target of reducing malaria deaths to near zero by 2015.

Every year, there are about 250 million malaria cases and nearly one million deaths worldwide. Despite this, malaria is a fully preventable and treatable disease. A long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed net is one of the most cost-effective prevention methods and can protect a family of four for up to five years. It costs $10 to purchase a net, deliver it, and educate communities on its importance and use.

Football players, teams and associations are essential to the UAM partnership in building bridges to encourage others to Unite Against Malaria and reaching the masses with message on the necessity of sleeping under mosquito nets.

David Beckham, Leadership Council Member for Malaria No More UK and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador said of the news:

“Football is a hugely powerful way to raise support to help end malaria. I think it’s fantastic that the FIFA Celebrate Africa Grand Finale Concert is being organised in support of the United Against Malaria partnership. As a Dad, I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child to malaria, yet in Africa, a child dies from malaria in every 30 seconds. Together we can help stop this and I hope the concert will be an unforgettable moment in maintaining the momentum as players and fans stand United Against Malaria”.

The goal of UAM is to galvanize partners throughout the world to reach the United Nations target of universal access to mosquito nets and malaria medicine in Africa by the end of 2010, a crucial first step to reaching the international target of reducing deaths to near zero by 2015.

UAM champion and U.S. Men’s National Team star Landon Donovan also welcomed the announcement:

“It has been amazing to see football, both Major League Soccer and FIFA, uniting players and fans across the globe to beat malaria and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. When the World Cup comes to a close, it is my hope that, together, we can also close the gap of mosquito nets needed to reach the UN goal of full coverage by the end of the year.”

Other footballers, clubs and national teams to lend their voice to the campaign include Michael Essien, Kolo Touré, Seydou Keita, FC Barcelona, Anderlecht and the national soccer federations and associations in Angola, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar, as well as the U.S. and Ireland.

Kolo Touré of Ivory Coast and Manchester City joined Beckham and Donovan in their support of the Concert, saying:

“It is great news that the FIFA Celebrate Africa Grand Finale Concert is being organized in support of United Against Malaria. Malaria is killing thousands of children across Africa every day, but football has a chance to bring people and players across the world together to stop this deadly disease. On the weekend of the World Cup Final it will be great to see FIFA, the players, and the fans Uniting Against Malaria. Join the team at UnitedAgainstMalaria.org.”

For more information visit – www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org

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About United Against Malaria

United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations, and people like you who have united ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to win the fight against malaria. Our goal is to galvanize partners throughout the world to reach the United Nations target of universal access to mosquito nets and malaria medicine in Africa by the end of 2010, a crucial first step to reaching the international target of reducing deaths to near zero by 2015.

Founding partners include Comic Relief, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Malaria No More, ONE, PATH, PSI (Population Services International), the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria.

Major international corporate partners include ExxonMobil, MTN, Nando’s, Novartis, Pfizer, Sumitomo and Vestergaard Frandsen.

About Malaria

Malaria is a disease spread through parasites carried by mosquitoes. It causes sweating and shivers, exhaustion and can go on to affect the brain and kidneys and lead to death. It is fully preventable and treatable. Up to 300 million people fall sick every year with almost one million cases resulting in deaths, Malaria costs Africa alone over £7 billion in direct economic losses, a £3-3.5 billion annual investment could virtually end malaria deaths by 2015.

About CELEBRATE AFRICA – The Grand Finale

Produced by Big Concerts and Harvey Goldsmith, “Celebrate Africa – THE GRAND FINALE” features Andrea Bocelli (who boasts worldwide record sales of over 70 million copies) and special guests, including Bryan Adams and Pretty Yende. Andrea Bocelli and guests will be supported by the Italian flautist, Andrea Griminelli, the Gauteng Choristers (sixty member choir) and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra (with sixty-eight musicians), and will be conducted by Marcello Rota, one of the world’s leading classical music- and opera conductors.  Celebrate Africa – THE GRAND FINALE is endorsed by FIFA.

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