WHO, FIFA collaborate in fight against COVID-19

—“Pass the message to kick out coronavirus”

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has teamed up with the international governing body of football, FIFA to raise awareness about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a virtual press conference, the international organisations announced the launch of “Pass the message to kick out coronavirus” campaign which promotes five key steps for persons to follow to protect their health in line with WHO guidance, focused on handwashing, coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell.

Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that it was less than six months ago the two had signed an agreement to work together to promote health through football. This, he noted was before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ghebreyesus noted that while the outbreak has brought many parts of society to a standstill, especially the world of sport, he deemed the collaboration “even more important during these difficult times.”

“It’s given us the opportunity of working together more closely than we imagined with FIFA. Football can reach millions of people, especially younger people, that public health officials cannot,” he stated.

The WHO Director-General used the opportunity to thank FIFA for its contribution of US$10Million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

He disclosed that to date, the fund has raised more than US$70 million in just ten days from more than 187,000 individuals and organisations to help health workers on the front line to do their life-saving work, treat patients and advance research and treatment and vaccines.”

President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino reiterated that football touches the lives of billions of people around the world and emphasised that there must be clear leadership and solidarity in these difficult days.

“We need teamwork to combat the coronavirus…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.”

Infantino noted that some of the greatest players in the game are involved in the campaign and “are united in their desire to pass the message to kick out COVID-19.”

There are twenty-eight players involved in the video campaign.  Over the next few days, the campaign will be rolled out on different platforms and published in thirteen languages.

Below is the link to the video campaign.