United Against Malaria (UAM) is a collective of individuals and organizations with one goal; to beat this dreadful disease.
Using the World Cup in South Africa as a focal point, footballers from around the world are united in supporting the cause, among those involved are Cameroon legend Roger Milla, USA striker Landon Donovan, Manchester City and Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure, Malian striker Frederic Kanoute and French World Cup winner Patrick Vieira.
UAM are using the tournament to promote international awareness of the disease, by acting now, an unprecedented increase in mosquito net coverage across Africa can be achieved by the end of 2010, saving millions of lives by the next World Cup in 2014.
With the tournament now well under way, UAM are asking football fans to ‘Sign the ball’ to show their support for the cause. Add your name and join the winning team that will beat malaria.
According to Castrol Performance data Scunthorpe United ‘s Grant McCann has been Northern Ireland’s most creative player in the FIFA World Cup qualifying games so far.
McCann has not only scored twice during Northern Ireland’s campaign but has been directly involved with 38% of the international team’s goals up until now. The Scunthorpe midfielder has assisted with three of the teams goals and has also set up 13 goal scoring chances.
Northern Ireland’s chances of progressing to the World Cup finals are pretty slim but not entirely out of the question, they would need a convincing result against the Czech Republic in their final group game and even then they would be relying on the unlikely event of San Marino beating Slovenia.
The Czech’s are only one point better off than Northern Ireland and their chances of making the finals are just as slim, but chances of a play off place for either team are still alive.
If the Czechs are to beat Northern Ireland they will have to be in better striking form than they were in the first game in September 2008, when they enjoyed 55% of possession without scoring at Windsor Park.