- FIFA, players and institutions engaged in fight against COVID-19
- Football world mobilising to help those affected and raise awareness among fans
- We look at some of the many initiatives across planet football
Although tournaments everywhere have ground to a halt, football’s fight against COVID-19 continues right across the globe as diverse members of the football family go all out to help overcome this crisis. Assistance from national federations abounds, club donations are growing steadily, and players are spurring each other on with ideas to support those afflicted and entertain their house-bound fans.
FIFA.com will be reporting on a regular basis on some of the many acts of solidarity being organised around the world.
Federations respond en masse
As the coronavirus spreads across countries and continents, an equally infectious desire to help medical and health services is following in its wake. For example, football federations around the world are mobilising to tackle the pandemic through reassuring videos and prevention messages.
Some have even loaned equipment and infrastructure. Among other things, the national team bus in Peru, La Roja’s team hotel in Spain, the national team’s training centre in Italy and the national federation’s headquarters in Argentina have all been made available by the respective federations to help deal with the crisis.
Kind donations and good deeds from clubs
Clubs may not be able to play games, but many are still active in the fight against COVID-19, with the number of donations and collections growing all the time. Former arch-rivals have come together with the shared goal of helping, as was the case with Barcelona and Real Madrid, who have put their facilities at the disposal of public authorities if needed.
Then, of course, there are the fans. Diverse groups of supporters have been organising fundraisers, such as those of Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, fans of Corinthians have made their premises available to house victims of the virus. And in Croatia where, in addition to the pandemic, an earthquake killed one person and injured many others last week, members of Dinamo Zagreb’s Bad Blue Boys fan group have shown their altruism through blood donations, among other things.
Following the examples of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, numerous top players have made sizeable donations to help COVID-19 victims, hospital services and distinct charities, including Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, David de Gea, Leroy Sane and Marcus Rashford among others.
Former footballers have also been stepping forward, with Jorge Sere - a Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup winner with Uruguayan giants Nacional - auctioning his medals to raise vital funds.
Finally, in the absence of actual football games, there have been many virtual encounters. Real Madrid star Gareth Bale came up with the idea for a FIFA 20 tournament, under the hashtag #CombatCorona, with the goal of raising funds to tackle the pandemic. Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Daniel James (Manchester United), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) and Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) will all take part.
"During this difficult time, I want to give back and try to help in any way I can," said the Welshman. #CombatCorona is a great initiative that hopefully helps the fight against coronavirus and, at the same time, entertains those who are unable to leave their homes. If we all do our part, we can beat this together."