FIFA and the UN partner up to tackle Ebola - CNBC Africa

FIFA and the UN partner up to tackle Ebola

Western Africa

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Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA. PHOTOS: Wikipedia

The International football governing body FIFA said it will be turning one of its Liberian football fields at Monrovia’s Antoinette Tubman Stadium into a site for two urgently needed large scale Ebola treatment units.

(READ MORE: Anger mounts as Ebola death toll tops 1,000 in Liberia)

The announcement was made after the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN’s public health arm, identified FIFA’s football pitch as the most suitable location for the units.  

“Thanks to the continuous fruitful and fundamental collaboration between FIFA and the United Nations, today we can use the power of football to combat the Ebola epidemic. To allay any concerns regarding the impact of the treatment units on the recently installed pitch, FIFA has also proposed to cover the costs of any damage,” said Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA.

Wilfried Lemke, the UN’s special adviser on sport for development and peace added that the Ebola virus has severely affected the sport community.

(READ MORE: WHO warns of "shadow zones" and unreported Ebola cases)

“The Ebola outbreak also has a tremendous impact on the sport community, ranging from health treats to the athletes themselves and restrictions of travel affecting competitions and the development of sport,” he said.

“National authorities, the UN and the world of sport need to work closely together in order to halt the spread of the disease. The commitment of sport organizations to support our efforts is very much welcomed and crucial. It is my hope that many will join in this fight. In particular I was very pleased to note FIFA’s pledge to support health-related measures by agreeing to cover potential damages to the football pitch of the Antoinette Tubman stadium in Monrovia, Liberia that has been earmarked for the use for Ebola treatment centres.”

FIFA also said that it will present a proposal at the next Finance Committee set for the 25 September 2014, to use resources from its solidarity fund to support the member associations from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, in their fight against Ebola.  

(READ MORE: Ebola shrinks West Africa's poorest economies)

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