This special recognition will be bestowed upon the CAF President at a star-studded reception to be attended by the Presidents of the Federation international de football association (FIFA), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), high-ranking officials from the government, sports organizations, private sector, and the world of football, for his sustained commitment to the AIDS response through efforts to promote the role of sport in development and advocacy for the “Protect the Goal” campaign.
“We are determined to continue our support to UNAIDS in their efforts to promote this campaign across the continent,” said President Hayatou. ”We will redouble our efforts to ensure that our teams and fans are committed to an Africa where AIDS is no longer a public health threat.”
The “Protect the Goal” campaign aims to raise awareness of HIV and mobilize young people to commit to HIV prevention. About 2 100 young people are infected with HIV each day. Many young people living with HIV, who are eligible for treatment lack access or do not know their HIV status.
Dr. Diallo, who is representing the UNAIDS Executive Director at the event, added. “UNAIDS Country Representatives of the sixteen countries represented in AFCON 2015 have been working with National Football Associations, mayors and municipal leaders, and youth leaders in preparation for this tournament. Such activities have included briefing football players on HIV/AIDS advocacy, media events involving key football players and/or government officials, and public events”.
In Algeria, the captain of the national football team Les Fennecs signed the “Protect the Goal” campaign pledge to support UNAIDS achieve its vision of “Getting to Zero”. In Gabon, advocacy activities including dissemination of promotional materials in French were carried out in collaboration with the local youth network, and briefing sessions on the “Protect the Goal” campaign were held with the President of FEGAfoot, the national football association,
and the Minister of Youth. The captain of the national football team Les Panthères also signed the “Protect the Goal” campaign pledge committing players and fans to adhere to the rollout plan of the campaign. In Guinea, the Secretary General of FEGUIFOOT, the national football federation, adhered to the “Protect the Goal” campaign by signing a pledge fostering synergies between the AIDS and Ebola responses.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and the CAF President signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 January on the sideline of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations in Johannesburg, South Africa. The MoU aims to leverage the popularity of football and advance HIV prevention.