Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 April 2020

Coronavirus: Spanish football chief offers country's health workers use of RFEF facilities

Luis Rubiales tells news conference medical care workers will have 'whatever they need'

RFEF president Luis Rubiales speaks during a press conference, where the federation offered the use of it's facilities to the state to combat the coronavirus spread, in Madrid. EPA
RFEF president Luis Rubiales speaks during a press conference, where the federation offered the use of it's facilities to the state to combat the coronavirus spread, in Madrid. EPA

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has offered its lodgings and some of its medical staff to the country's health service to help staff cope with the coronavirus crisis that has paralysed the country.

Spain's health ministry reported a rise to 3,434 deaths on Wednesday, with more than 47,000 cases in the country, which is the worst affected in Europe behind Italy.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales told a news conference in Madrid: "The national team's hotel is at the disposition of the authorities as a hospital, for health workers to stay in, whatever they need.

"Our psychologists and physiotherapists are also at the disposition of the health service workers," he added.

Real Madrid were thanked by the local government of Madrid for making what it said was a "sizeable donation" to help fight the Covid-19 virus, while captain Sergio Ramos and his wife Pilar Rubio donated 264,000 face masks and 15,000 coronavirus testing kits through charitable organisation Unicef.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, along with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, a native of Catalonia, donated €1 million (Dh4m) each to medical centres in Barcelona and Argentina.

Rubiales also pledged RFEF financial help to clubs struggling after the indefinite suspension of football in the country following the coronavirus outbreak.

The RFEF was planning to open a line of credit worth €500 million to clubs who will not be able to claim their full television rights, which could be paid back over five years, while €4 million will be loaned to non-professional clubs.

"We want to sit down with La Liga to talk about the problems that some clubs might have," Rubiales said.

"My message is one of union, hope, discipline. All of football, from the modest to the elite, we should send a message of solidarity, together we will stop this virus," he added.

Updated: March 25, 2020 07:48 PM

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