Captains at African Women’s Football Championship ‘Give AIDS the Red Card’ to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV

Bookmark and Share

Feature story

Captains at African Women’s Football Championship ‘Give AIDS the Red Card’ to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV

04 November 2010

African Women Championship 2010, group A match: South Africa vs Tanzania, 31 October 2010 Credit: CAF

Captains of all eight national teams competing in the 2010 African Women’s Football Championship in South Africa have joined forces to support the Give AIDS the Red Card campaign to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

The campaign was initiated during the 2010 FIFA World Cup by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and Kirsten Nematandani, President of the South African Football Association (SAFA). It reinforces global efforts to virtually eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.

At the opening ceremony of the Women’s Championship on 31 October at Sinaba Stadium in Benoni, South Africa, the captains of the qualifying teams from Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa, publicly read the appeal:

“As captains and players of teams competing in the 2010 African Women’s Championship in South Africa, we appeal to football players and fans across Africa to celebrate life and help prevent mothers from dying and babies from becoming infected with HIV…together we must Give AIDS the Red Card to prevent mothers from dying and babies from becoming infected with HIV.”

Football represents one of the biggest voices in the world and SAFA, as the custodian of football in South Africa, has decided that it will join its voice to the many voices making a difference in the response to HIV around the world

Kirsten Nematandani, President of the South African Football Association

Each year, an estimated 430 000 babies worldwide are born with HIV a large majority in Africa. In many parts of Africa, AIDS-related illness is the leading cause of death among infants and young children. HIV is also the leading cause of death and disease among women of reproductive age worldwide.

Mr Nematandani explained why SAFA is supporting the campaign during this tournament. “Football represents one of the biggest voices in the world and SAFA, as the custodian of football in South Africa, has decided that it will join its voice to the many voices making a difference in the response to HIV around the world.” He concluded, “There is no better way to show this than to articulate it repeatedly during these important championship matches.”

The team captains also committed to read out the appeal at the start of each of the 14 matches that will play in  the championship which runs until 14 November 2010.