The World Health Organization (WHO) has collaborated with Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to promote the need for fair access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics.
The collaboration will encourage people to keep adhering to everyday public health measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, per a joint official release.
In conjunction with the FIFA Club World Cup 2020, being held in Qatar from 4 to 11 February 2021, FIFA and WHO are launching a public awareness campaign involving star footballers, through TV and in-stadium messaging.
This will further promote the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative launched in April 2020, and urge people to practice mask-wearing, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.
During the video conference, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “We all have to play our part in the battle against the coronavirus. We are also calling on the international community to #ACTogether to ensure a level playing field in relation to access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests across the globe.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, thanked FIFA and the players for helping raise awareness and intensifying global support for the ACT Accelerator to ramp up the equitable allocation of vaccines, treatments, and tests.
“Fairness is the foundation of football and all other sports, and this also must be the same when it comes to health,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He added: “The rules of the Covid-19 challenge are simple: all people at risk from the coronavirus in all countries must have equitable access to life-saving vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. In just nine months, the world has established these three powerful lines of defense against Covid-19. But our goal now is to ensure equitable access and continued refinement of these tools.”
Dr Tedros concluded: “WHO is grateful to FIFA for teaming up with health partners around the world to promote the need for the fair distribution of the tools needed to defeat the coronavirus.”
The new FIFA-WHO collaboration will amplify life-saving messages to a global audience with a series of promotional videos being broadcast during the FIFA Club World Cup.
In the videos, competing club captains reiterate the key steps for everyone to follow in order to tackle and defeat the coronavirus by focusing on hands, elbow, face, distance, symptoms, masks, and opening windows, the official release added.