The battle against the spread of Aids has united two City and Chelsea stars.
After the Blues epic victory over Chelsea on Saturday two of the game’s combatants got together to help fight the hideous disease.
City’s Emmanuel Adebayor and Chelsea’s Michael Ballack met with UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé at the City of Manchester Stadium. Both players are UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassadors.
Mr Sidibé thanked them for their great support explaining how their outreach is an immense support to UNAIDS. Both players ensured their continued support - especially in the light of the upcoming 2010 World Cup.
Adebayor, the African Footballer of the Year in 2008 has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) since March 2009.
He is using his sporting popularity to raise awareness about the HIV epidemic globally, including the importance of preventing new infections among young people.
He became interested in working on AIDS after seeing the impact of the epidemic in his native Togo.
“Young people are most affected by the epidemic around the world,” he said.
“Many of these young people aren’t aware of HIV and the risk of infection, and don’t know how to protect themselves. I hope I can help change this in my new role as UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador.”
Ade teamed up with Ballack, working together in an HIV awareness campaign.
On the pitch we compete – off the pitch we are uniting the world against AIDS
Mr Sidibé , who also met with Blues CEO Garry Cook, said footballers’ efforts could not be underestimated:
“Sports stars like Emmanuel are excellent role models for young people,” he stressed. “I am confident that he will use the same skill and determination he has on the field in teaching young people about how to protect themselves against HIV off the field.”
About half of all new HIV infections occur among young people between the ages of 15 and 24, and according to UNAIDS the key to reversing the epidemic is preventing infections among this age group.