Former Indian men’s football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia has joined the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham, among others, to applaud “humanity’s heroes” who are putting their lives at risk to save other from the novel coronavirus.
A video released by FIFA on Saturday on their social media platforms lasts almost one-and-a-half minutes and shows the past and present stars applauding the healthcare workers and all others who have put their lives to save others amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Across the globe, staff and volunteers at medical facilities have been risking their lives on a daily basis to support humankind,” the world football governing body said in an accompanying statement, sources said.
“Some have, sadly, paid the ultimate price. People working or volunteering in law enforcement, pharmacies, shops, warehouses, delivery services, public transport, and safety and security have also been playing a key role in protecting our way of life. To all of these heroic people: football thanks you, football remembers you and football supports you.”
Others who participate in the video include David Beckham, Gianluigi Buffon, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Iker Casillas, Zinedine Zidane, Carli Lloyd and Marta, among others.
“As footballers, we are used to receiving applause, but this time, we have the opportunity to show our appreciation for the many people who are risking their lives to protect ours,” Beckham said in the statement.
“You are humanity’s heroes and we want to show that all of the football supports you and everything that you do to defend all of us.”
Meanwhile, Bhaichung had earlier featured in Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) ‘Break The Chain’ campaign to combat the global pandemic which has already killed more than 1.6 lakh people worldwide.
Bhaichung, who has a football stadium named after him in honour of his contribution to Indian football, has also won many awards, such as the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri.
In October 2010, he founded Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools in Delhi in partnership with football by Carlos Queiroz and Nike. In August 2011, Bhutia announced his retirement from international football. His farewell match was with the India national team on 10 January 2012 against Bayern Munich at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi.