Former Ivory Coast football international Didier Yves Drogba Tébily has been appointed the new World Health Organization (WHO)'s Sport and Health Ambassador, it was announced Monday.
Drogba's role as goodwill ambassador marks the launch of a “Healthy 2022 World Cup, Creating a Legacy for Sport and Health” between the Qatari Ministry of Public Health and its Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the WHO and football's ruling body FIFA, with next year's World Cup finals in sight.
Drogba, who was appointed as an ambassador for the United Nations Development Program in 2007, will work with WHO to promote the organization's standards on the benefits of both physical activity and other healthy lifestyles and the importance of the practice of sports, especially in young people.
I am honored to join WHO and support its work to help people achieve the highest possible level of health, especially young people in all countries. I have benefited first-hand from the power of sport to lead a healthy life healthy I am committed to working with WHO to share those benefits around the world,'' he said.
Many people do not have access to health services and globally non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart problems or heart attacks are increasing, in a complex world that faces challenges such as climate change or recovery after the pandemic, he went on.
In my new role as ambassador, I am determined to work with WHO, FIFA, civil society, youth and the private sector to reach as many football fans as possible, using sport as a powerful message-conveying tool. on the benefit of physical activity, he added.
The organization also praised the former Chelsea star for his long history of participation in various health campaigns, such as healthy lifestyles, fighting malaria and HIV prevention and control and for the foundation that bears his name, where he has helped several hospitals, as well as those affected by floods.
Didier is a champion both on and off the field. We are delighted that he is part of our team and that he is helping communities around the world to achieve and set goals through sport for their physical and mental health and well-being.” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
' He will also support the mobilization of the international community to promote sport as an essential means to improve the physical and mental health and social well-being of all people, including to aid recovery efforts from COVID-19,” he elaborated.
Drogba thus joined the list of WHO ambassadors together with Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker; Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Mayor of New York City for three terms; Cynthia Germanotta, president of the Born This Way Foundation and mother of Lady Gaga; and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
As a player, Drogba was an English football star during his stay at Chelsea, but he also played in the leagues of France, China, Canada and the United States. He was also named best African player in 2006 and 2009, and captained Ivory Coast's National Team in three World Cups.
His transfer to Chealsea in 2004 made him the most expensive Ivorian player ever after the club paid Olympique de Marseille € 24 million for his services. In the 2006/2007 season, Drogba was the Premier League's top scorer with 20 nettings.
Drogba is also known worldwide for his involvement in the battle for peace in his country. In 2006 when his country managed to qualify for the World Cup in Germany, Drogba begged rebel groups to get rid of their weapons. These actions earned him recognition as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2010 by Time Magazine.