India football skipper Sunil Chhetri. (AP/File Photo)
India football skipper Sunil Chhetri on Monday was included in the list of 28 current and former footballers selected by FIFA in its campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic.
FIFA in association with the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch an awareness campaign against novel conronavirus, in which the stars will urge people to follow certain steps to combat the virus.
The campaign, which has been named 'Pass the message to kick out coronavirus', focuses on five primary steps in accordance with WHO guidance essential for a healthy lifestyle. It includes coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell, among others.
The video of the awareness programme will be released in 13 languages and will feature legends like Argentine superstar Lionel Messi and World Cup winners Philip Lahm, Iker Casillas, and Carles Puyol.
Let some of football's biggest names tell you what you need to be doing to help tackle #COVID19.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) March 23, 2020
"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 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," he added.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: "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.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 have also pledged $10 million to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. World football's biggest leagues are all suspended because of the pandemic that has infected at least 300,000 worldwide.
The 28 players included in the campaign: Sami Al Jaber (KSA), Alisson Becker (BRA), Emre Belzoglu (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), Celia Sasic (GER), Asako Takakura (JPN), aya Tour (CIV), Juan Sebastin Vern (ARG), Sun Wen (CHN), Xavi Hernndez (ESP)