Bengaluru, April 1: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday (April 1) announced their pledge to donate Rs 25 lakhs to the PM Cares Fund for India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 50 deaths and over 1700 positive cases have so far been reported for the novel coronavirus across the country. Many sports personalities and sports bodies have stepped forward with their contributions and now, AIFF also have joined in with a donation.
"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.
The unprecedented global health crisis has led to either cancellation or postponement of top sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics and European football championship.
The outbreak has also affected the Indian football calendar and AIFF president Praful Patel acknowledged the need to fight the pandemic unitedly.
"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. Several members of the Indian football team have also been contributing in the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak in their own personal capacities.
Indian captain Sunil Chhetri had said in a tweet on Tuesday (March 31) that the members of the team have come together and "put on table a sum that has been sent to the PM-Cares Fund" to help in the fight against coronavirus.
Chhetri added that the reason why he is mentioning this on Twitter is so others who have the capacity to make donations are inspired to do so.
"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," said Chhetri in a series of tweets.
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.— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) March 31, 2020
"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.
"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 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.— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) March 31, 2020
(With AIFF and agency inputs)