The campaign, which has so far received support from close to 100 players and officials, reiterates the need for unity in order to battle COVID-19, as well as promotes the guidelines and best practices put in place by the World Health Organization (WHO) to mitigate its spread.

“Say ‘no’ to fake news. Do not link and share fake news, which causes confusion to the community,” Phuong, who bagged two goals for Vietnam in their historic run to the quarter-finals of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the UAE, said in Vietnamese, with English closed captions available for international viewers, in a video uploaded to the AFC’s website on Wednesday.

“If there was ever a time in our history to display unity and resilience, the time is now. All of us are in this together and we need to show respect, compassion, and kindness to one another by doing our part to follow the rules of the health authorities,” Phuong told the AFC. 

“I want to thank the AFC for giving me this opportunity to share my support and I encourage everyone to please break the chain.”

Vietnamese striker Nguyen Cong Phuong (1:26) participates in a video as part of the ‘Break The Chain’ campaign sponsored by the Asian Football Confederation on April 8, 2020. Video: AFC

The 25-year-old forward also expressed his gratitude to medical professionals and frontline workers for their bravery, devotion, and effort.

“Let’s stay strong and remain united in this fight against the COVID-19 outbreak by taking all preventive measures,” he said.

Wednesday’s video also featured Iran and Persepolis FC legend Seyed Jalal Hosseini and Palestine’s Sameh Maraabeh.

Before Phuong, Vietnamese midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai had also recorded a message for the campaign, saying in an April 3 video that “everyone should avoid gathering in crowded places, wear masks, and wash your hands regularly to protect yourself.”

Nguyen Cong Phuong and Nguyen Quang Hai play for Ho Chi Minh City FC and Hanoi FC, respectively, both in Vietnam’s top-tier V-League 1, as well as the Vietnamese national team.

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