Football fights Covid-19

Football finds its voice in Coronavirus fight

Italy sing their national anthem
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  • FIFA, players and clubs committed to the fight against Covid-19
  • Football world is helping those affected and raising awareness among fans
  • We look at the players and teams breaking into song in a bid to combat coronavirus

A few weeks ago, when the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across Europe, Dutch DJ Sander Hoongerdoorn came up with a very bright idea. As a way of expressing solidarity, he asked radio stations across the continent to join as one and play a song well known to football lovers and Liverpool fans in particular: 'You’ll Never Walk Alone'.

His call was answered and on 20 March, the moving Gerry and The Pacemakers hit sounded on 183 radio stations across Europe at the very same time. The fight against Covid-19 is still going on, however, and to help those affected and raise awareness among fans, the football world is doing what it can by making donations coming up with initiatives and even breaking into song.

Switzerland’s national team are among those showing the way. As well as donating money to the Swiss Nursing Association (ASI) for the purchase of personal protective equipment and urgent supplies for healthcare workers, the Nati players have also recorded their version of the John Lennon song 'Imagine', the idea being to lift the spirits of people in need.

Perhaps taking inspiration from them is former France international Guillaume Hoarau, currently with Swiss club Young Boys. The front man has himself taken to song to encourage people to stay at home, all with the aid of a guitar.

Grenoble coach Philippe Hinschberger adopted the same approach, using a guitar to express his appreciation not just of nurses and doctors but of all the other workers suffering at the hands of the ongoing health crisis.

The 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year and current president of Liberia, George Weah has also broken into song to alert his people to the dangers of coronavirus, recording a tune containing the following lyric: “It could be your mother, father, brothers or sisters. Let’s get up to beat this dirty virus.”

Over in El Salvador, meanwhile, players from the country’s top-flight clubs have come together to tackle coronavirus with the aid of music. Taking to their Twitter accounts, they formed a very special musical chain to each sing two lines of a song, creating something of an internet sensation in the process.

For their part the players of National Women's Soccer League side Orlando Pride have been tweeting videos of themselves singing and dancing their way through their home workout routines, to the delight of their fans.

Supporters around the world have been exercising their vocal chords too, not least the Napoli faithful, who lifted the spirits of the inhabitants of Naples by joining forces online to sing 'Un giorno all’improvviso', the famous chant that goes round the Stadio San Paolo on matchdays. Club captain Lorenzo Insigne added his voice to the choir, posting a video on Twitter.

Taking his cue from Insigne, Olympique Marseille full-back Jordan Amavi has also made himself heard during this long period of confinement, pulling out a megaphone and coming up with a chant in support of nursing staff.

At what is a difficult time for everyone, no one walks alone on planet football.

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