FIFA President launches “Protect the Goal” campaign in Sri Lanka
The President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Joseph S Blatter launched the Protect the Goal campaign in Sri Lanka during a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka in Colombo earlier this week. The campaign will use the convening power of football players to raise the awareness of young people regarding HIV prevention.
During the event, participants wore red ribbons and viewed a video documentary about a child living with HIV. Mr Blatter, along with the President of the Asian Football Confederation Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and the President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka Ranjith Rodrigo showed their support for Protect the Goal by signing a soccer ball. The Football Federation of Sri Lanka will implement the campaign with technical support from UNAIDS.
The Asia-Pacific region is home to over a billion young people, and in 2013, an estimated 610,000 or 15 per cent of young people, aged 15-24 were living with HIV. More than 95 per cent of all new infections among young people in Asia are occurring among young key populations at higher risk of HIV, including gay men and other men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs.
“Football is not only a sport. It contributes to address a number of social and health issues such as AIDS and Ebola all over the globe.”
Joseph S. Blatter, President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
“I thank FIFA for its valuable support to Protect the Goal campaign.”
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director