West Ham and England striker Carlton Cole is the latest footballer to join the battle against Ebola epidemic in West African by appealing to the world of football to help victims of the deadly virus.
Together with his West Ham team-mates, the Premier League striker launched the campaign, to raise funds to help those affected.
“My team-mates and club have been fantastic at backing our #FootballFightingEbola campaign. I’d urge the whole of football, players and fans around the world, to also support it.”
The campaign was launched a day after the head of the UN mission to fight Ebola warned that he does not have the resources to defeat the disease in west Africa.
Anthony Banbury said more assistance is needed as some villages have not received help.
Cole, who has played nine times for England, added:
“The stories and pictures that I’m seeing in Sierra Leone are heart-breaking. I feel compelled to make a difference.”
Cole 31 whose mother Selina is from Sierra Leone, said: “With the country facing such a terrible crisis, its imperative and my duty to do all I can to try to help.
Godfrey K Torto, who co-founded the football campaign with Cole, said: “It’s a privilege to collaborate with Carlton to offer help to Ebola victims in Sierra Leone.
“We hope this campaign will reach worldwide and raise significant funds to support the work that medical experts from Britain are leading to tackle the virus.”
Funds raised by the #FootballFightingEbola campaign will go to the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership which has set up an isolation unit in the Connaught Hospital in the capital Freetown.
British doctor Oliver Johnson, 28, is leading a team of medical staff, including many from London, under the project being run by the King’s Centre for Global Health, a tie-up between King’s College London and three NHS Trusts, together with local health professionals in Sierra Leone.
A collection was held at West Ham’s game against Aston Villa at Upton Park Saturday 8th November 2014 with money raised going to the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership and Carlton and Selina Cole’s Carlakka Foundation, which aims to build a school in Freetown.