Football legend, Didier Drogba was today, announced as the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and Health.
The announcement was made during the ceremony to launch the “Healthy 2022 World Cup – Creating Legacy for Sport and Health” partnership between Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health and its Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, WHO and world football’s governing body, FIFA.
The two-time “African Footballer of the Year” joins other WHO ambassadors including champion Brazilian footballer Alisson Becker; Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of the City of New York; Cynthia Germanotta, President of the Born This Way Foundation; and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
What this means
The Ivorian legend will work hand-in-hand with the health organization to promote the guidance on the benefits of physical activity and other healthy lifestyles, as well as underscore the value and benefits of sports, especially for the youths.
The former Chelsea footballer and a two-time African Footballer of the Year (2006 and 2009), has an impressive track record of participating and engaging in different health campaigns such as healthy lifestyles, anti-malaria and HIV prevention and control.
What they are saying
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, described the football legend as a dedicated advocate for the health and sustainable development of communities through his support in health campaigns, adding that through his promotion of healthy lifestyles, the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) can be managed through the promotion of healthy lifestyles, including the benefits of physical activity and sports for all people.
Furthermore, Dr. Tedros stated that, “Didier is a proven champion and game changer both on and off the pitch. We are pleased to have him playing on our team, and helping communities worldwide reach and score goals through sports for their physical and mental health and well-being. He will also support the mobilization of the international community to promote sports as an essential means for improving the physical, mental health and social well-being of all people, including in helping COVID-19 recovery efforts.”
Commenting on his ambassadorship, Mr Drogba said, “I am honoured to team up with the World Health Organization and support its work to help people reach the highest level of health possible, especially young people in all countries. I have benefited first hand from the power of sports to lead a healthy life and I am committed to working with WHO to share such gains worldwide.”
Drogba is also a former UNDP Goodwill Ambassador focusing on development issues in Africa from January 2007 to April 2021 and Afrijapan’s advocacy initiatives in the framework of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).