On the threshold of the FIFA Club World Cup to take place in Qatar on February 4-11, the International Football Federation (FIFA) and the World Health Organization are launching a joint global campaign. It aims to promote the need to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and diagnostic aids, and to raise awareness of the compliance with essential prevention measures for infectious diseases.
As part of a public awareness-raising campaign involving players, head coaches of participating teams and football stars will broadcast videos on TV and in stadiums about the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Initiative established in April last year, as well as preventive measures such as wearing masks, keeping distance and treating hands.
“Each of us can play a role in the fight against coronavirus infection. Only by following the recommendations of medical professionals we can overcome the threat posed by COVID-19, and I urge everyone to follow these preventive measures in their everyday lives. This will allow us protect not only our health, but also the health of our relatives, friends and those around us”, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.
“The idea of honesty and fairness is fundamental to football and other sports, and the same should apply to health issues. The rules of the game in the fight against COVID-19 are simple: all representatives of at-risk groups should be provided access to vital vaccines and medicines against coronavirus infection on a fair basis. Over the past nine months, humanity was able to build these three lines of defense against COVID-19. But now our objective is to ensure equitable access to these new aids and continuously improve them”, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, expressing gratitude to FIFA for the joint action.
The prepared videos will be made available on various digital channels of FIFA, WHO and the football clubs.
In 2019, WHO and FIFA signed a four-year cooperation agreement to promote healthy lifestyles through football. In March last year, the two organizations launched a joint campaign “Stretch a pass to put coronavirus out of the game” in order to promote effective coronavirus prevention measures.