Coronavirus: UAE record scorer Ali Mabkhout sends message to 'stay at home'

Al Jazira striker joins AFC's 'Break the Chain' initiative

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Ali Mabkhout, the UAE’s all-time leading goalscorer, has become the latest footballer to join the Asian Football Confederation’s “Break the Chain” initiative to help combat the coronavirus.

The Al Jazira striker, 29, was included in the continental governing body’s most recent online video, in which he implored football fans to adhere to governmental guidelines in their respective countries.

Speaking from his home in Abu Dhabi, Mabkhout said: “I urge everyone to follow the local regulations and to stay at home, for our own health, for the health of our community, our families, the elderly, the children and everyone we care about.”

In the past two weeks, more than 100 Asian stars have contributed to the campaign, designed to emphasise the importance of the World Health Organisation’s guidelines in limiting the spread of the virus. The initiative calls for fans to stay at home.

Football in the UAE is currently postponed following a directive from the Football Association on March 15. The suspension, which covers the Arabian Gulf League, was last week extended "until further notice".