May 19 – Inter Milan, FC Bayern and Real Madrid have joined forces to launch the ‘European Solidarity Cup’ in 2021 to send a message of solidarity and raise funds to support medical infrastructures in the wake of the coronavirus.
The series, titled ‘European Solidarity Cup – Football for Heroes’, will see the three teams play against each other in a round-robin group, with one match played in each city – Milan (Inter vs FC Bayern), Madrid (Real vs Inter), and Munich (FC Bayern vs Real Madrid).
Dates for the three-club tournament have not been set but will be organised around the new calendar, once it is known, and will depend on whether games can be played in front of spectators – generally the key revenue source for charity and benefit matches.
Club press releases all emphasised that the net proceeds from all three games will be donated to medical facilities, “as a symbol of support for a united Europe, in which everyone takes responsibility for each other.”
Inter president Steven Zhang said: “The pandemic has hit people all over the world with great force. The great commitment of all healthcare workers has been essential to allow us now to look to the future. With this initiative we want to thank them and celebrate their work and at the same time send a message of unity and solidarity between nations,” said Steven Zhang.
FC Bayern chairman and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge echoed Zhang’s sentiments. “We have established very good relations with a lot of clubs through many Champions League games, and have struck up friendships with some of them. Despite all the suffering and all the problems, we in Germany are perhaps fortunate that our healthcare system is proving resilient in this crisis. But we have also seen horrifying images from Italy and Spain, both countries among those hardest hit in Europe by the pandemic. We Germans have a very special relationship with both countries; Italy, like Spain, is one of our favourite holiday destinations…”
“Nurses, carers and doctors in particular are doing an outstanding job for society at the moment,” Rummenigge continued. “We want to pay tribute to this, and that’s why it is called ‘Football for Heroes’.”
FC Bayern will invite 5,000 nurses, carers and doctors to the Allianz Arena for the match against Real Madrid.
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