Today’s Solutions: December 01, 2021

Anyone who watches European football (soccer) knows how fearsome the rivalries between fans and clubs are. But with the coronavirus putting the season on hold indefinitely, Europe’s biggest football clubs are setting aside their differences and banding together to help people in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

First-team players and staff at the club Inter Milan have donated €500,000, while crowdfunding campaigns set up by Roma, Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina have each raised more than €420,000. A campaign set up by Lazio highlighted the importance of people continuing to go and give blood, reassuring house-bound residents that it is permitted and safe to do so. Individuals have also been at the forefront of the fundraising charge. Milan’s striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic launched a “Kick the Virus Away” campaign, putting in the first €100,000, and his fund has passed the €250,000 mark.

Everton FC, a club based in the city of Liverpool, England, has spent the week calling vulnerable, isolated and at-risk people in the community to offer assistance or just a chat. The club also announced on Thursday it was launching a £50,000 ($58,000) “Blue Family” campaign that will deliver essential food parcels, financial assistance for prescription purchases, mobile phone credit for people living alone, support for increased fuel bills and mental health advice.

Meanwhile Everton’s cross-town rivals Liverpool FC have been appealing to fans to support food banks and have donated £40,000 ($46,500). The club will also continue paying match day staff despite there being no games and is working with local businesses to find ways to support them in these trying times.

Coronavirus is also uniting clubs in the Netherlands, where historically bitter rivals Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord Rotterdam came together to post public messages everywhere, from billboards to newspapers, thanking the medical workers that have been fighting day and night to keep the country healthy. Coronavirus may be a threat to humanity, but the beautiful thing is that it’s also making us realize our shared humanity—so much so that even European football clubs are getting along.

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