—- Former Islamic Republic of Iran and Charlton Athletic star Reza Ghoochannejhad, Malaysia’s national head coach Tan Cheng Hoe and Mongolian forward Naranbold Nyam-Osor are the latest trio to join the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) #StayActive movement, empowering fans to enhance their physical and mental health during these unprecedented times.

Providing a rare glimpse into the fitness routines of Asia’s biggest names, the AFC’s #StayActive initiative continues to build a support system for fans to improve their wellbeing by presenting them with the opportunity to emulate their icons while promoting the physical distancing guidelines initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Former SC Heerenveen ace, Ghoochannejhad, who scored 17 goals in 44 appearances for Team Melli before his international retirement at the end of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged us in so many ways, but it has also brought us together in the most remarkable way.

“Football has the power to bring people of all walks of life together, and while we can’t be physically together at this moment, this campaign enables us to stay socially connected and physically active.

“We are all in this together and if we continue to do our part to stay active, remain alert and maintain a healthy body and mind, I have no doubts that we will come out of this crisis even stronger and more united than ever.”

Meanwhile, Tan, who orchestrated the Harimau Malaya’s impressive victories over Thailand and Indonesia in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers, can be seen strengthening his core with the simple use of a resistance band.

The 2015 Malaysian Cup winner with former club Kedah said: “Our mental health and physical wellness are essential and creating a plan to stay active can have a profound impact in helping us cope during this uncertain and unpredictable moment.

“Just as in football, we need to celebrate even the slimmest of victories and in the same way, observing your physical progress and transformation over time can improve your confidence and lead to a more positive state of mind.

“This pandemic has shown us that our frontliners and medical workers are undoubtedly our strongest, most resilient people so let us look to them for inspiration. I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has fought so hard for all of us and we must continue to stay strong for them and our loved ones.”

Mongolia’s all-time leading scorer Naranbold also appears in today’s #StayActive episode with Iraqi international Emad Mohamad Reza, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Rashid Mazaheri and Nepal’s Bharat Khawas set to feature in the upcoming episodes.

Fans across the world now have the opportunity to be featured on the AFC’s digital channels. Simply emulate your favourite Asian star and share it, using the hashtag #StayActive. Watch the latest #StayActive video here and join the fitness challenge now!

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