March 26 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has harnessed some of its biggest stars to launch its #BreakTheChain public awareness campaign to encourage people from around the world to do their part in the fight to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The AFC has been a football leader in the battle against the virus being the first to postpone international fixtures as well as its club competitions. Malaysia, where the AFC is headquartered, has imposed a Movement Control Order and, as a precaution, the AFC imposed a two week “work from home” initiative starting 17 March 2020 to safeguard staff and their families. That may be extended if required.
The #BreakTheChain campaign carries the message of solidarity and promotes the guidelines put in place by the World Health Organization (WHO), particularly #StayAtHome, and to practice good personal hygiene, social distancing as well as respecting the rules of self-quarantine.
A first video has been released featuring eight of Asian football’s finest including 2018 AFC Women’s Player of the Year, Wang Shuang from China PR, Suwon Samsung Bluewings duo Terry Antonis and Doneil Henry as well as Korea Republic and Chelsea FC star Ji So-yun.
“In these unprecedented and challenging times, the AFC extends its wish that all members of the Asian football community remain safe and healthy,” said AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
“Football will have an important role to play in the weeks and months ahead as the world returns to normality, but now our focus is firmly on protecting the well-being of all those who are involved in our great game.”
He added: “Changes to our calendar were aimed at ensuring the safety and health of our Members, their officials, their players, their staff and, of course, the millions of fans who engage with football in Asia each year.
“Their health is, and always will be, our priority and that is why it is important that the AFC and all our Member and Regional Associations work with Governments and Health Agencies to curtail the threat of this virus and that everyone should take all precautions.
“The AFC strongly urges all its Members to follow the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to exercise the highest levels of hygiene and are pleased to note that some Members have also declared a “work from home” initiative.
“The AFC has built its strong foundations on unity and solidarity – particularly in the face of adversity – during the last six years and this situation is another challenge which we will take on together to protect not only our communities but also the future of our game.
“Of course, the AFC will take a strong lead and will, as always, be on hand to offer advice and assistance to any of our Member and Regional Associations in these uncertain times.”
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