Cote d’Ivoire Football legend Didier Drogba has been appointed the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and Health.
The announcement was made during a 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 will support the WHO to promote the Organization’s guidance on the benefits of physical activity and other healthy lifestyles and highlight the value of sports, particularly for youth.
In a statement on Monday, the WHO hailed Drogba’s “long track record of participating in various health campaigns such as healthy lifestyles, anti-malaria and HIV prevention and control.”
“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,” said Drogba during his ambassadorship announcement event at WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
“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.”
The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed Drogba as a dedicated advocate for the health and sustainable development of communities.
“Didier is a proven champion and game-changer both on and off the pitch,” said Tedros. “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.”