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All-time football stars play in Georgia to recover burnt forests

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 20
Georgia’s Football Federation has invited global football stars to come to Georgia and play a charity game that will help the nation restore the forest burnt in last month’s fire in Borjomi Gorge in the country’s east.

Francesco Totti, Carles Puyol, Rivaldo, Dida, Andriy Shevchenko, , Javier Zanetti, Zvonimir Boban, Serginho, Paolo Maldini, Luca Toni, Hernan Crespo, Vincent Candela, Marek Jankulovski, Alessandro Costacurta, Demetrio Albertini, Dino Baggio, Massimo Ambrosini, Massimo Oddo, Marco Delvecchio, Sebastien Frey, Angelo Di Livio, Enrico Annoni, Christian Abbiati, Sebastiano Rossi, Giuseppe Favalli, Mauro Tassotti, Angelo Carbone, Ivan Cordoba, Dario Simic, Ibrahim Ba and Pietro Vierchowod are all among the stars who will play at Tbilisi Dinamo Arena on September 29.

The charity match is scheduled at 9pm and all of the money accumulated from the event will be spent on the restoration of the forests burnt in Borjomi Gorge.

Tickets went on sale yesterday and can be purchased at

The Government of Georgia says 200 hectares of forest were burnt in Borjomi.

The opposition accuses the government of cheating people and claims that in truth about 1,000 hectares are burnt.

In Borjomi, in 2008, during the Russia-Georgia war, the Russians deliberately burnt about 1,000 hectares of forest as part of their assault.

Several days ago, the US sent two experts to Georgia who will support the country in assessing the damage and implementing a rehabilitation plan to prevent soil erosion and land and mudslides, and to keep the soil in place for further re-growth of the forest.