FIFA President Gianni Infantino believes a new
partnership with the UN health agency is a starting point to help influence the
global appeal of soccer to improve health outcomes.
‘The association with the World Health Organization will work to elaborate concrete solutions and instead FIFA corporate sponsors including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are progressing on health,’ said Mr. Gianni
He added that the agreement is a starting point and we have to start somewhere.
The UN agency aims to reduce the consumption of foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes that the appeal of soccer is too good of an opportunity to promote healthy habits to pass up.
‘Staying away from the pitch for WHO is actually like being defeated by forfeit,’ Mr. Tedros said
Mr. Infantino observed that the link-up, formally called a memorandum of understanding, testifies to the improved health of soccer’s no one wanted to associate with FIFA which he called clinically dead amid a scandal.
He removed the longstanding medical director who oversaw FIFA’s public health program in 2016.
Both Organizations committed to a four-year collaboration that will promote healthy living through football globally, potentially spreading the message to huge numbers.
Half of the World watched the 2018 World cup this means there is a huge potential for us to team up to reach billions of people with information to help them live longer and healthy.
FIFA’s President expressed his satisfaction at the link-up between the two global organizations
‘Football is a unique universal language and we want to use our platform and network to support health initiatives and promote healthy lifestyles all around the world,’ noted Mr. Gianni
Efforts to convince spectators to quit smoking will be ramped up as part of the collaboration between WHO and FIFA who have already cooperated on anti-smoking campaigns including at the 2018 World Cup
The organizations will work to ensure tobacco-free environments at events organized by the governing body, encourage national football federations to adopt tobacco-free policies and provide technical advice on a range of health matters including hygiene and disease prevention.