GENEVA - At a ceremony held in Geneva on Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) and football’s world governing body, FIFA, announced that they are teaming up to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

By signing a memorandum of understanding at WHO’s Geneva-based headquarters, both organizations committed to a four-year collaboration that will promote healthy living through football globally, potentially spreading the message to huge numbers: “Half the world watched the 2018 World Cup”, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the launch of the partnership. “This means there’s huge potential for us to team up to reach billions of people with information to help them live longer, healthier lives”.

FIFA was represented at the launch by its President, Gianni Infantino, who 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”.


Showing cigarettes the red card


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.