Celebrating Football-Led Community Initiatives on World Humanitarian Day

19 August 2020

Celebrating Football-Led Community Initiatives on World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day has added significance this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The effects of the novel Coronavirus are felt worldwide, have affected billions and continue to change the way of life humans have become accustomed to.

The international community commemorates the day to remember humanitarian workers injured or killed in the course of their work. Similarly, it honours all aid and health workers who continues, despite the odds, to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need (United Nations).

Football clubs, their foundations and organisations using sport for development are standing up to be counted  in the response to the pandemic. The European Football for Development Network (EFDN) alongside its 90+ members initiated the #SupporterOfEachOther campaign encouraging players, fans, clubs, leagues, FAs and organisations to unite within communities for the purpose of getting through the early stages of the crisis and restrictive lockdowns.

The campaign was focused on education to share advice on how to stay healthy and safe during the outbreak; health promotion by encouraging physical activity at home and social cohesion by supporting each other especially people that are affected by self-isolation and other preventive measures. Additionally, to encourage volunteering from home and inspire the sharing of positive initiatives from all over the world to overcome the Covid-19 crisis.

As we celebrate World Humanitarian Day, EFDN would like to showcase some of the innovative projects implemented by our members during the Covid-19 pandemic.

FC Emmen supported their community by surprising health workers, showing love to elderly fans, organising a bingo night to raise funds and using e-sports to keep fans entertained.

Legia Warsaw delivered 32,000 meals to help elderly citizens in need across Poland.

FC Basel raised 65,000 Euros for three social organisations alongside holding an auction of unique items to help vulnerable individuals within their community.

Dutch Eredivisie side RKC Waalwijk organised a heart-warming surprise for a former player that beat the Coronavirus after spending several weeks in intensive care.

Motherwell FC Community Trust joined hands with their health and well-being partners to share tips for men to improve their mental health.

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) raised money for the Emergency Network of Food Banks against Hunger by selling masks made from repurposed football scarves.

Barça Foundation published tips for cyberbullying prevention to protect children online.

PFC Ludogorets donated food to 4,000 families in need that were distributed among households in the Razgrad region.

Greek side Panathinaikos FC sold face masks to raise funds for the fight against Covid-19.

KAA Gent Foundation adapted its existing initiatives to respond to the needs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sparta and Slavia held the 296th Prague derby virtually raising 47,000 Euros for the “Help for Nurses” project.

FC Midtjylland launched a campaign to sell a special edition All For One jersey to show gratitude and give medical staff the recognition they deserve.

Apollon Limassol FC supported the elderly and vulnerable in their community and also donated equipment to medical staff.

Hungary’s Ferencvárosi TC launched a Together at Home campaign to support their elderly members by delivering 500 green and white gift bags to all season ticket holders over the age of 65.

French champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) raised more than €200,000 from the sale of their special edition Tous Unis” PSG jersey. The club also launched a fundraiser to support the 100,000 healthcare workers from the Greater Paris University Hospitals (AP-HP). The funds raised went towards healthcare staff’s vital necessities – accommodation and transport, meal delivery, equipment for relaxation rooms and communication.

The heroes of our world, here and now, are just as worthy of admiration and celebration because they’re real — as they are choosing to help in the most extreme circumstances — and their stories show that real life heroes exhibit an uncanny ability to persevere despite the odds, and to do so with humility and dedication.

We are all indeed #Morethanfootball.


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