Manchester United and Celtic are donating €1 from every Europa League and Champion League ticket sold to help Europe’s refugees, as part of a campaign called 90 Minutes of Hope.
The two clubs are the first two British clubs to sign up for the scheme, which has been organised by the European Club Association (ECA). The plan was originally thought up by Portuguese side FC Porto.
The money will go towards “experienced and respected organisation(s) with excellent track-record and on-field operations across Europe to help the refugees in these critical times,” according to the ECA.
In a statement on its website announcing its support, Manchester United says ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wrote to them:
Europe is currently facing the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. We, the European clubs, understand that our work goes well beyond what we achieve on the pitch and are naturally committed to engaging in social causes and giving back to society. As important stakeholders within society, we cannot close our eyes to the dramatic scenes currently taking place throughout Europe. Let’s be united for the refugees!
Manchester United lost its first Champions League group stage match against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven 2-1 on Tuesday. It plays Germany’s Wolfsburg on September 30.
Celtic is also backing the 90 Minutes of Hope and Chief Executive Peter Lawwell says in a statement on the club’s website:
From Glasgow, we have watched in horror as this crisis has unfolded.
Clearly we are not able to comprehend what these people, in their thousands and of all ages, are going through, but we feel compelled to help in any way we can.
Celtic was formed in 1888 to help people in need and our social dimension will always be fundamental to what we are as an institution.
Celtic plays its first Europa League group stage game against Dutch side Ajax tonight.
Europe is in the midst of a huge refugee crisis, with thousands of displaced people currently seeking refugee across the continent, with many fleeing the civil war in Syria.
Football fans across Europe have been particularly vocal on the issue. In Germany, fans have held up banners saying “Refugees welcome” and clubs in the top two divisions will this weekend wear a “Refugees welcome” logo on all of their shirts.
But not all have been so welcoming. Fans of Israeli club Maccabee Tel Aviv recently held up a banner in their stadium saying “Refugees not welcome.”
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