Geneva: FIFA, the international governing body of football,
and the World Health Organization (WHO) have teamed up to combat the
coronavirus (COVID-19) by launching a new awareness campaign led by
world-renowned footballers, who are calling on all people around the world to
follow five key steps to stop the spread of the disease.
The “Pass the message to kick out coronavirus” campaign
promotes five key steps for people to follow to protect their health in line
with WHO guidance, focused on hand washing, coughing etiquette, not touching
your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell.
“FIFA and its President Gianni Infantino have been actively
involved in passing the message against this pandemic since the very
beginning,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the
virtual launch of the campaign at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. “Be
it through campaigns or funding, FIFA has stood up to the coronavirus, and I’m delighted
that world football is supporting WHO to kick out the coronavirus. I have no
doubt with this type of support that together we will win.”
“We need teamwork to combat the coronavirus,” said FIFA
President Gianni Infantino. “FIFA has teamed up with WHO because health comes
first. I call upon the football community worldwide to join us in supporting
this campaign to pass the message even further. Some of the greatest players to
have played the beautiful game have put their names to the campaign and are
united in their desire to pass the message to kick out COVID-19.”
Twenty-eight players are involved in the video campaign,
which is being published in 13 languages.
Sami Al Jaber (KSA), Alisson Becker (BRA), Emre Belözoğlu
(TUR), Jared Borgetti (MEX), Gianluigi Buffon (ITA), Iker Casillas (ESP), Sunil
Chhetri (IND), Youri Djorkaeff (FRA), Han Duan (CHN), Samuel Eto’o (CMR),
Radamel Falcao (COL), Laura Georges (FRA), Valeri Karpin (RUS), Miroslav Klose
(GER), Philipp Lahm (GER), Gary Lineker (ENG), Carli Lloyd (USA), Lionel Messi
(ARG), Mido (EGY), Michael Owen (ENG), Park Ji-sung (KOR), Carles Puyol (ESP),
Célia Šašić (GER), Asako Takakura (JPN), Yaya Touré (CIV), Juan Sebastián Verón
(ARG), Sun Wen (CHN) and Xavi Hernández (ESP).
A video campaign, which will be published on player and FIFA
digital channels, is also being provided as individual localized files to the
211 FIFA member associations and media agencies, together with a graphics toolkit
for implementation on social media to further pass the message.
“It starts with your
hands,” says Alisson Becker, WHO Goodwill ambassador for health promotion,
Liverpool FC and Brazil goalkeeper, and The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, 2019.
“Please wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based
“Cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or tissue when
you sneeze or cough,” says Carli Lloyd two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner
from the United States. “Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands.”
“Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose or
mouth to prevent the virus from entering your body,” adds FC Barcelona and
Argentina forward Lionel Messi, the Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2019, and a
multiple FIFA Ballon d’Or winner.
“In terms of social interaction, take a step back,” says Han
Duan, who represented China PR 188 times in an international career that
spanned 11 years. “Stay at least one metre distance from others.”
“If you feel unwell, stay home,” concludes Samuel Eto’o,
former FC Barcelona and Cameroon striker, who represented his country 114
times. “Please follow all instructions provided by your local health
FIFA have also pledged $10 million to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.