Lionel Messi leads coronavirus message to football fans as pandemic continues

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi is heading up FIFA's new "Pass the message: Five steps to kicking out coronavirus " campaign, with support from the likes of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Gary Lineker and ex- Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o.

FIFA have linked up with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a new awareness campaign hoping to convince football fans to follow five key steps in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement, the governing body said: "The 'Pass the message to kick out coronavirus' campaign promotes five key steps for people to follow to protect their health in line with WHO guidance, focused on hand washing, coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell.

"FIFA and its President Gianni Infantino have been actively involved in passing the message against this pandemic since the very beginning," WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"Be it through campaigns or funding, FIFA has stood up to the coronavirus, and I am delighted that world football is supporting WHO to kick out the coronavirus. I have no doubt with this type of support that together we will win."

"We need teamwork to combat the coronavirus," added FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "FIFA has teamed up with WHO because health comes first. I call upon the football community worldwide to join us in supporting this campaign to pass the message even further.

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"Some of the greatest players to have played the beautiful game have put their names to the campaign and are united in their desire to pass the message to kick out COVID-19."

In total, 28 stars from the world of football appeared in the video campaign, with Alisson kicking off the campaign.

"It starts with your hands," he says. "Please wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution."

"Cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or tissue when you sneeze or cough," adds Carli Lloyd. "Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands."

"Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent the virus from entering your body," says Messi.

"In terms of social interaction, take a step back," adds Chinese superstar Han Duan. "Stay at least one metre distance from others."

"If you feel unwell, stay home," concludes Eto’o. "Please follow all instructions provided by your local health authorities."

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