« The FIGHT AIDS CUP enables to put a regular spotlight on the fight that we are waging »
The eagerly awaited FIGHT AIDS CUP is back for its fourth edition. On 22th of January, the traditional gala match between BARBAGIUANS and CIRQUE FC will bring together a number of the world’s leading football stars on the pitch at the Louis II stadium. As well as the familiar players, other legends will be supporting the event with their appearance. This FIGHT AIDS CUP will also be an opportunity to celebrate the longevity of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024.
Personalities, high-level performances, entertainment and conviviality… all come together for another exceptional evening, again in aid of the HIV charity, FIGHT AIDS MONACO.
« We want this edition, which will celebrate several birthdays, to be one to remember ». On the eve of the fourth edition of the FIGHT AIDS CUP (22 January 2024), Louis Ducruet is clearly setting out his ambitions. President of the Barbagiuans of Monaco, the nephew of Prince Albert II notes « with pride » the enthusiasm generated by the event year after year, both among the public and the main players. An exceptional momentum that shows no signs of abating…
This growing popularity over time has already enabled the FIGHT AIDS CUP 2024 to achieve « various records, in terms of sponsorship and donations to the association. The success of previous editions has strengthened the loyalty of our partners… others have also joined us », reveals Louis Ducruet. A reality synonymous of success for the one which is a fervent defender of charitable values. « I’m delighted that the benefits generated by the development of this event will benefit FIGHT AIDS MONACO ».
The Barbagiuans captain also underlined his enthusiasm at the prospect to « once again, sharing magical moments on the pitch, in the company of legends of international football ». All united to support the fight against HIV, which will still affect 39 million people worldwide in 2022 (SIDACTION). A major issue, dear to the princely family…
H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie as ambassador
Prevention, Support, Accompany… This year, the Principality will be celebrating the twentieth anniversary of FIGHT AIDS MONACO. For two decades, H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie has devoted part of her daily life to the fight against HIV. With pugnacity and commitment, the association’s president/founder continues to drive forward the awareness campaign she launched in 2004.
Thanks in particular to the quality of the actions carried out (under the aegis of FIGHT AIDS MONACO), the princess has succeeded in imposing her demands and, in fact, putting this global fight back at the heart of the principality’s concerns. « We have a constant need to make people understand that they are not immune », says Prince Albert II’s sister, before continuing. « With advances in research, treatments, screening… we have the means to eradicate the spread of the epidemic. We need to encourage people to do the necessary things « . It’s a commitment that is growing stronger, at a time when other countries are showing less interest in this cause, which is as fundamental as ever.
A situation that needs to be remedied as soon as possible. « It’s vital not to give up, because HIV is still with us. The FIGHT AIDS CUP is an opportunity to show that there is an association in Monaco that continues to work for prevention, support and assistance for those living with the disease… The fight must not be allowed to decline. On the opposite, it must be intensified », declares H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie with firmness.
« I can never thank my son (Louis Ducruet) enough for this wonderful initiative ».
As President of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, the football game between the Barbagiuans and Cirque FC holds no secrets for H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie. And for good reason! The traditional gala match already existed before the creation of the FIGHT AIDS CUP…
For more than ten years, H.S.H. Prince Albert II‘s team played against a team composed by the main actors of the festival, on the day of relaxation (Monday). In 2020, this friendly meeting in the intimacy of the Princely Family became an exceptional event… A development considered « necessary » by the Princess, aware of the potential that could be exploited. « The time had come to relaunch this historic event and pass on the relay to the younger generation. We had to move towards new ideas, new objectives… and we’ve succeeded. I’m delighted with this development ».
The birth of the event is symbolic of the commitment shown by Louis Ducruet since his arrival as president of the Barbagiuans of Monaco. As a man of convictions and projects, he immediately wanted to breathe new life into this match by attracting (on both teams) several legends of world football. It’s a way of boosting the public’s interest by bringing much more significant challenges… In 2020, Prince Albert II’s nephew said: « I wanted to support my mother by trying to raise funds for FIGHT AIDS MONACO. It was important to do my part by using an area that I know well, football ».
Four editions later, H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie is delighted with the benefits that the FIGHT AIDS CUP has directly generated in the life of her association. Her gratitude is infinite… » I’m immensely proud to see my son’s involvement in causes that are particularly close to my heart. His idea was brilliant and so helpful to FIGHT AIDS MONACO », says the Sovereign’s sister, before going on. « Over and above the substantial financial aid, the FIGHT AIDS CUP enables to put a regular spotlight on the fight that we are waging. And it’s all done through a friendly and sporting evening. I can’t thank Louis enough for this wonderful initiative… ».
Over the years, the FIGHT AIDS CUP has gone from strength to strength. In addition to the « seriousness » and « professionalism of the organisation, which have enabled the public to attend in ever-growing numbers », H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie is also delighted to see the event perfectly acclimatised to the setting of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival (46th edition to come), of which she is president. « It’s an evening that promotes the values of solidarity that I hold dear and that we try to make feel to our spectators every year under the marquee. That’s also why the FIGHT AIDS CUP is an integral part of the festival program ».
A few special features in 2024…
Once again, the FIGHT AIDS CUP will be full of surprises and special aspects. In a year when the activities in the principality were part of the centenary of Prince Rainier III*, it was unthinkable for Louis Ducruet not to use the event to pay further tribute to his grandfather, who died in 2005.
Very much involved in these commemorations, the Barbagiuans’ president has revealed the creation of a « collector’s jersey » that players from both teams will wear during the match. This is a way of « celebrating the 100th birthday of the Prince and remembering the passion he had for football and AS Monaco ».
Louis Ducruet also points out that FIGHT AIDS MONACO and the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival will be celebrating their 20th and 50th springs respectively in 2024*. A number of organisational elements will help to draw spectators’ attention to these two key entities of Monaco… As usual, the « Clowns en folie » will accompany the participants and the Princely Family as they enter on the pitch of the Louis II stadium. A video illustrating the work carried out by FIGHT AIDS MONACO since 2004 and a report on the centenary will frame the « firemen’s show », scheduled for half-time of the match.
New personalities will also be making their contribution by taking part in the FIGHT AIDS CUP for the first time. With players such as Philippe Mexès, Daniel Subasic and Claude Makelélé, fans attending the event on 22th January will have the chance to relive their memories of the different golden generations of local and international football. « Every year, other participants join the adventure by joining the two teams. It’s very important for us to renew the cast a little in order to diversify the show offered to the public, who are already familiar with the event », says Louis Ducruet.
The son of H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie is also delighted by « the loyalty shown by some of the legends over the years. It shows their attachment to the principality and to the cause we are defending ».
With his third consecutive participation, Robert Pires is one of the cadres members of the FIGHT AIDS CUP. « It’s always very important for me to be available when the values of solidarity are highlighted through a major sporting event. We’re here to support an association… it’s a state of mind that suits me », he declares. French international, 1998 world champion and Euro 2000 winner, Robert Pires is « proud to once again represent H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie’s team. I am grateful for the trust that has been shown to me once again ».
In 2023, Monaco’s Barbagiuans won the trophy after a hard-fought encounter. Louis Ducruet‘s side will be hoping to retain that status for at least another year. The nephew of Prince Albert II declares with serenity: « The objective will obviously be to win once again. We’re going to do everything we can to achieve it… whatever the thinking of the opposing captain, Sébastien Frey ».
The scene is set…
* The centenary of Prince Rainier III comes to an end with the 2024 Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival.
- 50th anniversary (creation) of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival in 2024, but 46th edition.