IR Iran’s star Beiranvand throws support behind AFC’s #BreakTheChain campaign

Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Republic of Iran and Persepolis FC’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand is the latest Asian stalwart to lend his voice in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) #BreakTheChain public awareness campaign. 

Beiranvand, voted by fans as one of Asia’s all-time greatest at the FIFA World Cup, joins over 100 Asian icons and officials to help raise awareness in the fight against the spread of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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In the latest episode, he is joined by Bahrain’s national team player Sayed Dhiya Saeed and Bangladesh women’s team captain Sabina Khatun, who continue to emphasise the importance of following the health guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The 27-year-old Beiranvand, who gained global fame for saving Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, called for unity to help frontliners battle the pandemic.

Beiranvand, who is also active in social responsibility efforts in his country and was awarded the Silver Medal in the AFC Dream Asia Awards in 2019, said: “Health authorities around the world are united to stop the spread of COVID-19 and we must join their fight and do our part by following the guidelines by the World Health Organization to maintain personal hygiene, social distancing and to stay at home when required.

“We are all in a challenging situation which has affected jobs, the economy and the welfare of people. So, it is important that we break the chain, continue to stay positive and remain patient. Please remember that we must do everything that is necessary to protect our loved ones.”

Khatun, Bangladesh and Indian Women’s League forward for Sethu FC, urged those affected by the ‘stay at home’ rule to use their time wisely.

She said: “It is difficult to keep yourself occupied at home, especially for the younger people, but with technology there are many good materials online to find new interests or to improve on your fitness. If you are staying alone, make it a point to call your family and friends regularly.

“It is important to maintain personal hygiene, but it is equally crucial to ensure that you protect your mental and physical health. I hope that together, we can break the chain and contain the spread of the virus.”

Al-Riffa’s midfielder Sayed Dhiya also features in the latest episode, with the upcoming editions set to include Thailand’s head coach Akira Nishino and UAE’s forward Ali Mabkhout.

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