BOTH U.S. SOCCER AND THE GHANA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION ARE SUPPORTING CAMPAIGN TO WIN FIGHT AGAINST MALARIA
RUSTENBURG – JUNe 25, 2010: On Saturday June 26 USA will play Ghana for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Whichever side is successful, it will be a victory for the United Against Malaria campaign (UAM) because both US Soccer and the Ghana Football Association are active supporters.
UAM is a partnership of football teams, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals who united ahead of the 2010 World Cup to win the fight against malaria, a preventable disease which still kills a child every 30 seconds in Africa. The goal is to galvanize partners throughout the world to reach the United Nations target of universal access to mosquito nets and malaria medicine in Africa by the end of 2010, a crucial first step to reaching the international target of reducing deaths to near zero by 2015.
U.S. Soccer signed up to support the campaign in 2009 and has participated in numerous events. Landon Donovan generously donated his time and has recorded a public service announcement for the campaign, which has been shown on U.S. TV networks over the last few months.
Landon Donovan, scorer of the winning goal against Algeria and a UAM champion said:
“Ordinarily, elimination is a word that no professional soccer player likes to hear, but when it comes to malaria, it’s the most worthwhile goal there is. As professional athletes, we understand the importance of putting together a team that has diversity in skill, but unity in a common goal. United, we can defeat malaria.”
The Ghana Football Association promoted the United Against Malaria campaign during their qualifying matches and recorded public service announcements with the national squad, which has been aired across national television networks in Ghana around the World Cup. The team has also played an active role in promoting campaigns around the country to reduce deaths from a disease which is responsible for 22 percent of deaths in children under the age of five in Ghana.
Kwesi Nyantakyi , President of the Ghana Football Association said:
“Malaria has held back our country and our continent for far too long. The first FIFA World Cup on African soil is a historic occasion and we will do all we can to make this World Cup a turning point to end this disease. Everybody should play their part – footballers, fans, the media – everyone!”
Speaking after the qualification of USA and Ghana was confirmed, David Kyne, Director of Operations for UAM said:
“This game brings together two teams who have been fantastic in supporting the United Against Malaria campaign and are playing an important role in beating this deadly but preventable disease. By the next World Cup in 2014 we want to see deaths from malaria reduced to virtually zero and the ongoing support of the football world will be an important ally in achieving that aim.”
Malaria has had a big impact on African football, with leading players such as Roger Milla, Kolo Toure and Michael Essien all suffering from the disease at some point during their careers. The campaign has the support of FIFA and the national teams of Angola, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar all signing up, as well as the Republic of Ireland and the US.
Landon Donovan Public Service Announcement: http://www.youtube.com/user/unitedagainstmalaria#p/a/f/2/4wYVQkGwNew
Ghana FA Public Service Announcement:
South Africa: Christina Barrineau; email@example.com; Tel: +27 832090506