DILI (6 April 2020) – The sporting world is coming together more than ever in these exceptional times. From tennis to Formula 1, the Olympics to the beautiful game itself, every event and discipline is having to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 virus.
In the midst of all this, it seems fitting that the seventh edition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace should fall this Monday 6 April. This day of commemoration was declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 2013. This particular date was chosen because the first modern Summer Olympic Games were opened in Athens on 6 April 1896.
“Sport can be a powerful handmaiden for peace and reconciliation. It can bring us closer through shared celebration of achievements of universal appeal and attraction,” the then-President of the UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, said in 2013, adding that sport causes ethnic, religious and economic divisions to fall by the wayside along with prejudice, fear and misunderstanding. The day is designed to raise awareness of the importance of sport and physical activity for education, human development, health and peace.
Then-IOC President Jacques Rogge added: “We have seen the true worth of sport and physical activity many times.
- It builds self-confidence;
- it defies gender stereotypes;
- it provides an alternative to conflict and delinquency;
- it improves health;
- it can bring hope and a sense of purpose to refugees, impoverished communities and other people in need.”
Although sport around the world has more or less come to a standstill, this does not mean that anyone should stop being physically active. After all, there is no doubt that sport has always played an important role in every society, whether in the form of competition, physical activity or play. With this in mind, FIFA and the UN have joined forces to support the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s #BeActive campaign to remind people around the world to #BeActive today and every day.
For example, the WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. It provides an abundance of free and accessible online and digital tools targeted at encouraging people of all ages and abilities to stay active and mobile while remaining at home.
“We need to be more united than ever and make health our top priority,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “We are pleased to be able to help both the United Nations and the World Health Organisation to reinforce the #BeActive campaign today, and we are encouraged that the football community is also playing an active role in ensuring that this message is understood around the world.”
Further information of FIFA’s development programmes and initiatives in the areas of sustainability, diversity and anti-discrimination can be found here: