Lionel Messi in the Fifa/WHO video
Lionel Messi in the Fifa/WHO video Image Credit: Fifa

Dubai: The joint campaign between Fifa and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in combating the coronavirus is trending on various social media platforms across the globe.

The world governing body for football had teamed up with WHO earlier last week to run an awareness campaign that is led by world-renowned footballers calling on all people to follow five key steps in stopping the spread of the disease.

The ‘Pass The Message To Kick Out Coronavirus’ campaign video lasting over one-and-a-half minutes has an opening message from former Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker of England followed by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, two-time Fifa Women’s World Cup champion Carli Lloyd of the US, Argentina and Barcelona striker and multiple Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, former Chinese women’s team striker Han Duan and one of Africa’s top footballers Samuel Eto’o, among others.

Saudi Arabia’s Sami Al Jaber and India’s Sunil Chhetri are among the other Asian stars among the 28 current and former football stars who involved in the video campaign that has been published in 13 languages. The highly popular Cristiano Ronaldo could not be part of this campaign as the Portuguese star is in self quarantine at home.

The video promotes five key steps to follow in protecting health in line with WHO guidelines, focused on hand washing, coughing etiquette, not touching the face, physical distance and staying home if unwell.

Alisson’s message already has more than 53,000 views worldwide and Messi’s message in Spanish has more than 15,000 views.

“It starts with your hands,” says WHO Goodwill ambassador for health promotion Alisson, in Portuguese. “Please wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution,” the Brazilian says.

“Cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or tissue when you sneeze or cough. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands,” instructs Lloyd in English.

“Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent the virus from entering your body,” states Messi in Spanish.

“In terms of social interaction, take a step back. Stay at least one metre distance from others,” says Han Duan in Chinese. Han represented China a record 188 times in an international career spanning eleven years.

“If you feel unwell, stay home,” concludes Samuel Eto’o, former FC Barcelona and Cameroon striker.

“Be it through campaigns or funding, Fifa has stood up to the coronavirus, and I am 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,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said at the virtual launch of the campaign at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“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,” Fifa President Gianni Infantino added.

The video campaign already published on player and FIFA digital channels, is also being provided as individual localised 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.

Meanwhile, as of last Saturday, Fifa launched another new initiative of a video match archive across multiple content channels in an attempt to bring football home until life comes back to normal. For the first time, the world governing body has provided full match replays via #WorldCupAtHome of more than 30 unforgettable games from the Fifa World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup published for the first time on, the FIFA YouTube channel and Weibo in China.

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