Oceania Football Confederation and Vanuatu Football Federation president Lambert Maltock assured the 11 Member Associations of OFC last night amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in the region that soon everyone will come back together again to continue to enjoy the most beautiful game.
In a statement to all the presidents around Oceania he said the deadly virus has no power to destroy the beautiful game.
Maltock asked everyone to encourage use of the 5 tactics recommended by World Health Organization and promoted by FIFA and added the 6th, coming from a religious background, which is faith in God, he said is necessary to combat the deadly COVID-19 disease.
The football governing body FIFA has partner with the WHO to launch “awareness building initiatives” to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
He also asked everyone to collaborate with their respective governments and authorities to combat the risk in their country.
“I wish to share my personal sympathy to our families in New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji and New Caledonia and even Samoa, Vanuatu and PNG who are facing threats at the moment at their doorsteps”.
He revealed in his statement that FIFA Bureau has allocated 10 million USD to World Health Organisation to help combat COVID-19.
“It was decided that out of the 10 million, 4 million will be allocated to WHO and 6 million will specifically help countries of the 6 confederations through their respective WHO regional offices”, he said.
Vanuatu and across Oceania region have suspended football all activities as per instruction from their federation with backing from OFC and FIFA, owing to the Coronavirus in the region, and he stressed that everyone must comply and refrain from working in the office.
“Any MA that has not yet stopped its normal activities please do so immediately and refrain from going to office so to work from home only”, he pointed out.
“It is with very heartfelt sadness that I am taking this moment to write a sympathy and encouragement note to the four of the Ocean 11 infected by the Coronavirus.
“Even at this point of time, the rest of the Ocean 11 countries are extremely vulnerable and exposed to the danger and risk and for this reason, I encourage everyone to stay alert and start to take precautionary measures immediately”.
Since December 2019, a number of cases of pneumonia infected with the new coronavirus have been found in wuhan, hubei province in China and has now become a global epidemic of crisis.
In the Pacific, COVID-19 cases reported for New Zealand, Tahiti and French Polynesia, Fiji and New Caledonia with suspected cases in Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
Maltock ended his statement to all the Presidents in Oceania, OFC staff and Vanuatu football family with the line – Together we care for each other and our beautiful game.