Li, Zayed and Hadi feature in latest #BreakTheChain episode

Kuala Lumpur: Shandong Luneng’s head coach Li Xiaopeng teams up with Kuwait and Al-Kuwait SC midfielder Faisal Zayed as well as Iraq and PFC Krylia Sovetov Samara’s Safaa Hadi to lend their voices in stopping the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic in today’s Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) #BreakTheChain series.

The widely-acclaimed mass awareness campaign which has received overwhelming support from more than 150 Asian players and officials from 45 AFC Member Associations continues to inspire millions of fans by sharing the message of unity and promoting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) hygiene guidelines.

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Li, the winner of Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) Coach of the Year in 2018 and 2019, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled most social activities. Football is no exception. As some countries eased the quarantine restrictions, we can hear more calls for football to be restarted. Not only because football can promote economic recovery, but because football can inspire people and relieve their anxiety.

“However, health is the top priority for everyone in this unprecedented time, and at the end of the day, that’s all we have. Although the situation in some countries is improving, we still need to stay vigilant and follow the personal hygiene guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO). There is no doubt that football will play a crucial role in our lives after we overcome this epidemic.”

Hadi, who led Al-Shorta SC to the Iraqi Super Cup crown in 2019, added: “In the past few months, the great sacrifice made by healthcare workers and those who are working in essential positions across the world has inspired everyone. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all the frontliners who risked their lives to save others.

“Like all football players, I miss my teammates, the atmosphere inside the stadium, the enthusiastic fans and everything about football. But in the shadow of the coronavirus, the most important thing for us is to take care of ourselves and loved ones.

“Follow the advice of your local medical authorities and stay positive. Let’s continue to do our part to break the chain and support our medical workers to fight against this global pandemic.”

Zayed, who helped Al-Kuwait SC to a 2-1 victory over Al Ansar FC in the AFC Cup 2020 Group Stage, is also the latest to feature in the #BreakTheChain campaign with several more Asian big names such as Kuwait head coach Thamer Enad as well as Lebanon and Zobahan FC’s Mehdi Kahlil set to appear in the upcoming #BreakTheChain videos.

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