M.Schumacher To Play for Middle East Peace
Monday May 22nd, 2000
Formula One racing driver Michael Schumacher will join an all-stars soccer team for an annual charity match this week dedicated to Middle East peace.
Ferrari confirmed their driver, who tightened his grip on the Formula One championship with victory at the European Grand Prix this weekend, would play in Thursday's match at the Olympic stadium in Rome against a team of Italian singers.
The match aims to raise money to supply computers and sports facilities to schools to encourage dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli children.
Other big names expected on the all-stars team include Serie A side Fiorentina's Argentine striker Gabriel Batistuta, former Dutch star Ruud Gullit, veteran Frenchman Michel Platini as coach and former World Player of the Year, Liberian George Weah.
Ferrari said Schumacher, a keen soccer fan, liked to play on the right wing in an attacking position.
Strikers, including Batistuta, who rumoured to be close to leaving Fiorentina shortly, perhaps for a move to Rome, will face crooner Eros Ramazzotti in goal for the singers' team.
Nobel peace prize laureates Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres, Israel's minister for regional co-operation and former premier, will attend the match, as will Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.