Indian captain Sunil Chhetri on Sunday featured in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) campaign to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and requested people to do all they can to overcome "these challenging times".
In the latest instalment of the continental body's 'BreakTheChain' campaign, the Indian talisman was accompanied by Chinese Football Association (CFA) vice- president Sun Wen, acknowledged as one of the greatest women players to have graced the world stage, and Myanmar captain Kyaw Zin Thet.
The campaign was launched earlier this week to combat the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, and it also feature former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia. The campaign, which garnered the support of more than 50 Asian players and officials in less than 48 hours since its launch on Thursday, encourages people not only to adopt the best hygiene practises as underlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) but also "inspires hope and solidarity in these challenging times," an AFC release stated.
Chhetri, who is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and leads the likes of mega superstars such as Lionel Messi in the international goal scoring charts, joined the chorus of Asian icons showcasing their support. "Everyone is struggling in these challenging times. I must urge you to follow the advice of the World Health Organisation and the best medical practices put in place by your local governments. It is our responsibility to do our part by maintaining our hygiene and if necessary, to stay at home. Let's work together - as a team - to break the chain and stop the spread of COVID-19. I stand with everyone in India and around the world to put these challenging times behind us and hope that we can all return to our normal lives soon," said Chhetri.
The Indian was on Monday picked among 28 past and present stars for world governing body FIFA's campaign to combat the pandemic. Sun, who was named FIFA Female Player of the Century alongside USA's Michelle Akers in 2001 and winner of both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, offered a message of unity and hope: "One for all, all for one - this is the best expression of football at this moment." "Please follow the advice of medical experts and local medical authorities, wash your hands frequently and maintain a proper social distance. By doing so, you are indirectly supporting our medical frontliners combating the pandemic. "You are not just doing it for yourself, but also your family, especially your elders and the whole world. Break the chain, let's unite to defeat our common enemy."