There’s More to Life: Top footballers reveal their generous sides amid coronavirus outbreak

By Robert Abong'o: Thursday, March 19th 2020 at 13:30 GMT +3 | Sports
From left: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and Tottenham winger Son Heung Min are among the top footballers who have donated large amounts of cash to help combat the coronavirus [COURTESY]

Desmond Tutu, one of South Africa’s most popular Human Rights Activists once said, "Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."

At a time when the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is ripping the world apart, many financially privileged people have turned a blind eye on pride and resorted to helping the less fortunate get by.

Such is the case in the realm of football.

Not only has the coronavirus pandemic prompted top footballers to donate large amounts of cash to support the fight, but it also revealed a side fans never saw before – a humble and generous one.

Here are some touching stories GameYetu stumbled upon in its quest to keep you always updated with coronavirus developments in the world of sport:

Sadio Mane makes donation to Senegal national committee

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According to the BBC, Liverpool forward Sadio Mane on Tuesday, March 17 made a donation of around 45,000 euros (Sh5.1 million) to the national committee fighting the COVID-19 in his home, Senegal.

Mane’s agent shared a video on Twitter of the Liverpool forward urging his Senegalese compatriots to take the virus 'extremely seriously’ and also to disinfect their hands to prevent the virus from spreading. Mane decided to make the donation 'spontaneously when he saw the evolution of the situation'.

Here is the video below: 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic launches fundraisers

The most-prolific nomadic striker of all time Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Tuesday launched a fundraiser to help fight COVID-19.

According to BBC, Ibrahimovic made two donations of 50,000 euros (Sh5.6 million). The fundraiser reportedly raised 109,652 euros (sh12 million) an hour after he put it up on Instagram.

“Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love. I decided, together with the people who are working with me, to create a fundraiser for Humanitas hospitals and to use my communication power to spread the message wider. It’s a serious issue and we need a concrete help that’s not just about a video. I count on the generosity of my colleagues, of all professional athletes and of those who want to make a small or large donation according to their possibilities, to kick this virus away. Together we can really help hospitals and doctors and nurses who selflessly work every day to save our lives. Because today we are the ones cheering for them! Let’s together kick the CoronaVirus away and win this match! And remember: if the virus doesn’t go to Zlatan, Zlatan goes to the virus!” the Swede posted on his Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love. I decided, together with the people who are working with me, to create a fundraiser for Humanitas hospitals and to use my communication power to spread the message wider. It’s a serious issue and we need a concrete help that’s not just about a video. I count on the generosity of my colleagues, of all professional athletes and of those who want to make a small or large donation according to their possibilities, to kick this virus away. Together we can really help hospitals and doctors and nurses who selflessly work every day to save our lives. Because today we are the ones cheering for them! Let’s together kick the CoronaVirus away and win this match! And remember: if the virus don’t go to Zlatan, Zlatan goes to the virus! Link in bio

A post shared by Zlatan Ibrahimovi? (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) on

Germany players donate 2.5 million euros to fight coronavirus

German national team footballers on Wednesday, March 19 revealed they would donate 2.5 million euros (sh284 million) to help curb the Covid-19 crisis.

"We need to look after each other in times like this. We in the national team have been thinking and we are going to donate to a good cause," said Manuel Neuer, Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Players including Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich posted videos on their Instagram accounts, informing the public of the initiative.

"There was very quick agreement on the fact that we wanted to make a gesture as a team," said national team director Oliver Bierhoff.

Dublin stadium transformed into virus drive-thru testing center

Dublin Stadium, Ireland’s biggest sports facility has been transformed into a drive-thru coronavirus testing site. The 80,000 capacity stadium is expected to handle at least eight cars every 15 minutes. It will operate for seven days a week, 12 hours a day.

"Croke Park is one of the designated testing centres for north Dublin," said a spokeswoman for the Health Service Executive.

Croke Park (pictured 2007) [COURTESY]

Chelsea open up a hotel to healthcare staff

Chelsea Football Club has offered to provide free accommodation to the country’s National Health Service staff in a hotel at Stamford Bridge. Medical professionals in London will have a place to rest thanks to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic, who will reportedly fund the service.

"It was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff. Mr. Abramovich will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation," Chelsea said.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic [COURTESY]

Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville to let health workers stay free at their hotel

Ex-Man United stars Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville will allow NHS workers to use reside in their two hotels free of charge. Neville made the announcement on Wednesday, March 18.

The Hotel Football at Old Trafford and the Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester City Centre will be shut from March 22 to allow healthcare workers to rest in between their shifts.

“We have taken this decision as we believe in being proactive and decisive. We feel that we have a responsibility to protect our team members and as shareholders we have put together the resources to put us in the best position to do this,” said Neville.

Tottenham Hotspur forward, Son Heung-Min makes a donation

English news outlets reported on Tuesday 10, March 2020 Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min had made a donation of around 64,000 pounds (sh7.6 million), which translates to around 100 million South Korean won to a non-profit fighting Covid-19.

“Even though it is far away from me, as we face increased corona damage, I wanted to ensure Covid-19 no longer spreads, and to the vulnerable, I hope it will help you a bit," said the South Korean.

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