British long-distance runner Mo Farah has announced he will play for England in the 2018 Soccer Aid charity match. He will face sprint world record holder Usain Bolt, who will captain the Rest of the World XI team.
Soccer Aid brings together football stars and celebrities to raise money for UNICEF and is scheduled for June 10 at Manchester United’s famous Old Trafford stadium.
“It’s a marathon, not sprint mate,” Farah tweeted, addressing Jamaican Bolt. “I’m taking part in Soccer Aid for Unicef to help children in danger around the world. I’ll see you 10th June at Old Trafford.”
British pop star and UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams created the idea of conducting Soccer Aid matches in 2006, and has captained the England team ever since.
The full line-up for the match has not yet been announced, but it is expected that some of the world’s biggest football stars and celebrities will join the list. Soccer Aid has previously featured football legends, including Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldinho.
Four-time Olympic champion Farah, who will make his debut in the charity match, retired from track athletics last year to embark on a road-running career.
The 34-year-old became embroiled in a doping scandal last year when the Sunday Times published the leaked United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA] report from March 2016 that allegedly stated Farah’s coach Alberto Salazar had administered prohibited infusions to his athletes to enhance their performance.
The report claimed that Farah, along with other runners coached by Salazar, were given banned drugs normally prescribed for heart and muscle disorders.
In 2017, hacker group Fancy Bears published leaked documents from the International Association of Athletics Federations [IAAF], which showed that Farah was one of 50 athletes suspected of using banned performance-enhancing drugs. Farah denied all the accusations of doping.