Following the footsteps of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), the All India Football Association and Hockey India on Wednesday (April 1) pledged to donate ₹25 lakh each towards the PM Cares Fund for the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special emergency fund for everyone to contribute to tackle the crisis.
“In these difficult times, it is the absolute need of the hour to come together as a nation to help fight the crisis and fulfil our duties as responsible citizens. It was a unanimous decision taken by the Hockey India Executive Board to contribute ₹25.00 lakh towards the PM Cares Fund,” HI president Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said in a release.
“Hockey has always received tremendous love and support from the people of this country and we want to do whatever little we can to help our countrymen and women emerge out of this pandemic as victors,” he added.
“Hockey India has always stepped up for any noble cause and in these difficult times when the world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic which has impacted millions of lives world over, we wanted to extend our support in fighting this crisis” HI secretary general Rajinder Singh said.
“The Government of India is doing everything they can and we urge all Indian citizens to act responsibly and stay home, stay safe during this lockdown. We can fight this global crisis together,” he added.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday in a media release said, “In wake of the crisis caused by Covid 19 pandemic, All India Football Federation has pledged to contribute ₹ 25 lakh to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modis PM CARES Fund.”
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.
The BCCI had on Saturday (March 28) pledged to donate ₹51 crore in the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) towards strengthening the nation’s disaster management capacities and encourage research to combat COVID-19 and protect Indian citizens.
According to the health ministry, as on April 1 (9 AM), the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 1637 and the death toll touched 38.
(With inputs from agencies)