The World Health Organization (WHO) and football’s world governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), have agreed a four-year collaboration to promote healthy lifestyles through football, globally. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and FIFA President Gianni Infantino signed the memorandum of understanding at the WHO’s Geneva-based headquarters.
As part of the collaboration, the WHO will provide technical advice to FIFA on a variety of health matters, such as ensuring tobacco-free environments at FIFA events and encouraging national football federations to adopt tobacco-free policies, including at stadiums.
The organisations will also collaborate on joint programmes and initiatives to increase participation in physical activity through football, in line with WHO guidance, including working with national associations and networks of WHO goodwill ambassadors, football players, coaches and volunteers to increase physical activity through football.
“I am extremely happy to announce this collaboration with WHO. 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,” said Mr Infantino.
This is not the first time that WHO and FIFA have worked together. The organisations co-operated to ban tobacco at football tournaments, including the 2018 World Cup.