Soccer Star Says Tattoos Raise Awareness Of Famine

PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he removed his shirt after scoring against Caen on Saturday in a bid to draw attention to world famine by displaying his new tattoos.

Ibrahimovic peeled off his shirt after his goal in the second minute for the defending French champion and was shown a yellow card for doing so. He will now miss the match against Monaco in two weeks’ time due to suspension.

“When I took my shirt off against Caen, everybody asked what these new tattoos were. I had 15 removable tattoos on my body, they are the names of real people who are suffering from hunger in the world,” Ibrahimovic said Sunday. “(While) those tattoos have gone now, these people are still here … I hope that you can see them through me.”

The Swede said he agreed to the venture to raise awareness for the United Nations’ World Food Program — which fights against hunger worldwide.

“Wherever I go people recognize me, call my name, cheer me. But there are names no one cheers for,” the imposing Sweden forward said. “If I could, I would write every single name on my body. But there are 805 million people suffering from hunger in the world today … So whenever you hear my name, you will think of their names. Whenever you see me, you will see them.”

Marina Catena, director of the WFP in France, said that Ibrahimovic’s huge worldwide popularity made him the ideal person to work with.

“I had a dream that someone could convey this message in a simple way. We thought of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is always asked for his autograph,” Catena said. “So why shouldn’t it be Zlatan who has the autographs on his body this time? We’re proud that he accepted to convey this message.”

Ibrahimovic, the club’s top scorer this season and for the past two seasons, will be back in action at Parc des Princes on Tuesday when PSG faces Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League.

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