The Indian football team has donated an undisclosed amount of money as its contribution towards the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, captain Sunil Chhetri said on Tuesday, urging others who have the means to join in.
On Wednesday, the All India Football Federation pledged to donate Rs 25 lakh to the PM Cares Fund for the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic
“In wake of the crisis caused by Covid 19 pandemic, All India Football Federation has pledged to contribute Rs. 25 lakh to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s PM CARES Fund,” the country’s apex body for football said in a media release.
More than 50 deaths and over 1700 positive cases have so far been reported for the novel coronavirus across India. The country, which is in the midst of a 21-day lockdown, has seen 35 deaths and have more than one thousand active cases.
Chhetri said the team has sent the amount to the PM-Cares Fund.
“We’ve always received more than we can give. Which is why in this time of need, all of us national team players have come together and put on the table a sum that has been sent to the PM-Cares Fund to help India’s fight with the pandemic,” Chhetri said in a series of tweets.
“It’s been heartening to see everyone cutting across caps, goals, age and experience give, and give with a smile. When word got out, even some who have long stopped pulling on an India shirt, turned up and asked to be counted. That’s what a team is all about,” he added.
Chhetri hoped that the act of the national football team will also prod others who have the means to donate.
“The ONLY reason we’re talking about this here is so that it can gently prod those who have been fortunate enough to get, to give back. We’re in this together.”
The outbreak has also affected the Indian football calendar and AIFF president Praful Patel acknowledged the need to fight the pandemic unitedly.
The national team’s two World Cup qualifiers matches earlier scheduled in March and June were postponed due to the worsening pandemic.
“The love, care and support from countrymen has provided us motivation all throughout. Hence, now is the time to pay back our country in whatever manner we can. We need to stand together and help each other hoping to overcome the crisis,” Patel said.
Last month, the AIFF had directed all its employees to work from home after suspending all footballing activities under its aegis till further notice.
With PTI Inputs