The Football Association has launched an initiative to emphasise the need for the country’s residents to adhere to safety measures put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The initiative, entitled “Our Championship is Your Safety”, was announced on Sunday as the Emirates continues to take significant precautions to help fight the outbreak.
The FA has already postponed all football that fell under its auspices, for an initial period of four weeks from March 15, a decision made in line with government directives. That provision included the Arabian Gulf League, which was suspended with seven rounds remaining.
Launching “Our Championship is Your Safety”, FA president Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi said: "In light of the cessation of football activity, we are all now engaged in the most important and most valuable championship, which is the safety of community members.
“It is the true championship that we all strive to achieve because of its great importance to humanity in this difficult time, as the world lives in light of the spread of coronavirus.
“The UAE is making great efforts to confront the crisis locally and globally through a number of initiatives, decisions and precautionary measures under the direct supervision of the wise leadership of our dear country, which does not spare an effort to assist the affected countries through medical supplies, relief equipment and other support in a gesture reflecting the meaning of humanity.”
Sheikh Rashid called on athletes to participate in the initiative via their social media platforms, using the hashtag #OurChampionshipYourSafety, to encourage residents to train at home and to follow the proper prevention measures.
Among those already to support the initiative were veteran UAE international Ismail Matar and recent national team captain Walid Abbas.
One of the UAE’s most prominent players, Matar implored his peers to do the same, while saying: “I have fought many championships and scored many goals, but I’m currently participating in my most valuable tournament, which is the safety of the community.”
On March 19, the General Authority of Sports announced the suspension of all sports activities, including tournaments and competitions, effective immediately.