Thursday, December 2, 2021

FIFA, Qatar team up with WHO for World Cup health promotion

GENEVA (NWN) – FIFA and Qatari organizers of the FIFA World Cup next year teamed up with the World Health Organization on Monday to use the football event to promote public health.

The move follows years of careful scrutiny of Qatar and criticism of the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers. needed for large-scale projects related to the tournament.

“Events such as the World Cup and the Olympic Games are ideal partners for promoting health and solidarity,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

When FIFA selected Qatar to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an anticipated health risk exposed 32 teams of players, thousands of workers and hundreds of thousands of fans to heat up to 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in June and July.

While this issue has been addressed by moving games to cooler November temperatures, the coronavirus pandemic is now in its third year and is approaching key stages of tournament preparation.

“The tournament is likely to be the first global mass event of this magnitude since the spread of the pandemic,” Hassan al-Tawadi, head of the organizing committee of the Qatar World Cup, said at WHO headquarters.

No details were provided on Monday about the practical planning for protecting the World Cup from COVID-19, and no questions were raised during the broadcast of the launch from Geneva.

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Stadium vaccination for fans was Qatar’s official policy. four months ago. Officials have since moved to a more flexible approach., which is expected to be tested a year before the FIFA World Cup, when Qatar will host the Arab Cup for 16 countries on November 30.

WHO officials on Monday praised Qatar and FIFA for their financial and practical contributions.

According to the WHO Regional Director Ahmed Al-Mandhari, Qatar became one of the “10 largest voluntary donors” last year.

Tedros described Qatar’s support as “critical to our work,” and noted two flights he recently provided to deliver medical supplies to Afghanistan.

FIFA donated $ 10 million to WHO last year, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a video message on Monday that the state of Qatar is committed to “the safest world championship in history.”

The 2022 World Health Championship aims to create a legacy for future major sporting events, including the 2026 tournament to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

As part of the presentation, the great Didier Drogba from Côte d’Ivoire was signed as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Healthier Lifestyles.

“Let us come together to better prepare,” Drogba said, “and to respond more collaboratively to future pandemics as we strive to bring WHO’s message to a global audience in languages ​​and platforms accessible to all.”

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