Saturday 19 November 2022, 14:00

FIFA Secretary General urges people to get enough exercise and #BringTheMoves

  • Walk the Talk: Health for All Challenge held in Doha for the first time

  • FIFA World Cup will be used to promote healthy lifestyle to five billion viewers

  • Didier Drogba encourages participants to get regular exercise

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura urged young people to #BringTheMoves and ensure they get enough exercise during the launch of the first-ever Walk the Talk: Health for All Challenge event to be held in Doha. People of all ages, nationalities and abilities took part in the walk, which was jointly staged by FIFA, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and is part of a campaign to ensure that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is the healthiest World Cup ever. "We want you to get off your sofas, create new celebrations, challenge your favourite players and bring the moves," the FIFA Secretary General told the participants after they had taken part in a warm-up session at the Al-Bidda park in Doha. "We want you to you invite your parents and friends, not only to watch the games in the stadiums but to take a good walk on the Corniche and to exercise every day for at least 60 minutes. It could be football, it could be Zumba, it could be dancing reggae, but it has to keep you active."

Participants had the choice of two routes (3 and 5 kilometres) which connected the park to Doha landmarks, including the Corniche area and the FIFA World Cup countdown clock. FIFA and the WHO have been working together since signing a Memorandum of Understanding in 2019. According to the WHO, more than 80 percent of adolescents do not get the recommended one hour of exercise per day. FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, which starts on Sunday 20 November with a match between the hosts Qatar and Ecuador, will feature a campaign encouraging the five billion viewers worldwide to #BeActive.

"I am so excited to see health as an integral part of this World Cup," said Didier Drogba, the former Côte d'Ivoire and Chelsea forward who is now a FIFA and WHO Ambassador. "Today's event is a reminder for all of us to keep active; we may not be able to play football as professionals, but we can find a way to stay active." "We spend far too much time in front of screens so today I challenge you to become your own sports heroes and to keep active regularly: It´s good for your body and it´s good for your mind. Bring the moves and make physical activity part of the routine."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director General, said that football was "without any exaggeration" the world's most popular sport and the FIFA World Cup offered an invaluable platform to spread the message. "We will use this platform to pass messages through social media, television advertisements and so on, so the partnership with FIFA, the WHO and the Ministry of Health will reach five billion people to help them live a healthy lifestyle," he said.

The head of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Hassan Al Thawadi, said that getting exercise could improve people's social lives. "The most important success factor of this World Cup is the legacy, and the human legacy is the most important factor for us. This partnership is a commitment is to ensure this is the healthiest World Cup ever.” "Walking is a great sport, but not only a great sport for heart and mind but gives us the opportunity to get to know people from other walks of life. I hope that at the end of this walk you will make a new friend."