Zim sports stars must chip in


EVER since the coronavirus (Covid-19) became a global pandemic, sports stars around the world have been at the forefront of making various donations in combating the disease.

Global sporting stars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski, Drew Brees, Roger Federer and Shahid Afridi have all donated numerous millions of United States dollars in the fight against the novel virus which has now killed nearly 150 000 and infected over 2 million people.

Even sports teams have also chipped in by providing financial resources to health authorities to help stop the spread of the virus.

English Premier League football teams have converted stadia into temporary hospitals and storage facilities as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc.

In the United States, NBA teams Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonia Spurs, among many others, have agreed to compensate hourly workers and stadia staff during the NBA season’s hiatus.

Here in Africa, football stars likes Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Wilfried Zaha, Sadio Mane and Mahomed Salah have all played their part in making various donations to their home countries during this global crisis.

Eto’o’s foundation is going to support at least 100 000 people in Cameroon get access to food, soap, sanitisers in at least four cities of Douala, Buea, Yaounde and Bafoussam.

Mane has donated US$50 000 to help Senegal fight the Covid-19 virus while Drogba has offered his hotels and hospital in Ivory Coast to health authorities.

However, here in Zimbabwe, all the sports stars and teams have been silent on how they are helping the country fight the deadly disease.

As of yesterday, Zimbabwe had reported three deaths and 24 confirmed cases of the virus with health experts warning that the figures were likely to increase in the coming weeks.

The country is going through a nationwide lockdown which is set to end tomorrow evening, but there is a highly likelihood it might be extended further.

It is clear the government does not have the resources to fight the virus and has even launched a national disaster fundraising programme.

However, local sports stars, even footballers based is Europe, have not made any contributions towards the nation’s coronavirus fight.

Of course people are not obligated to make any donations during this pandemic, but local sports stars must take a cue from their counterparts like Eto’o, Mane, Zaha and Salah.

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