Tennis legend Roger Federer and his wife Mirka have announced that they had donated 1m Swiss francs (Rs 7.9 crore) for the ‘most vulnerable families in Switzerland’ amidst the global outbreak of coronavirus. Federer said that this was just a start and he will donate more in the time to come. In contrast, big Indian sporting stars have only confined themselves to making videos of clapping in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Former India cricketers Irfan Pathan and his brother Yusuf Pathan are the two notable sporting heroes, who have decided to use their personal money to play their part in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Taking to his social media pages, the 20-time Grand Slam champion wrote both in English and French, “These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”
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These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy! Dies sind herausfordernde Zeiten für uns alle und niemand sollte zurückgelassen werden. Mirka und ich haben beschlossen, persönlich eine Million Schweizer Franken für die am stärksten gefährdeten Familien in der Schweiz zu spenden. Unser Beitrag ist nur ein Anfang. Wir hoffen, dass sich andere anschließen, um noch mehr bedürftige Familien zu unterstützen. Gemeinsam können wir diese Krise überwinden! Bleibt gesund! Nous vivons une période difficile pour nous tous et personne ne doit être laissé pour compte. Mirka et moi avons décidé de personnellement faire don d'un million de francs suisses aux familles les plus défavorisées en Suisse. Notre contribution n'est qu'un début. Nous espérons que d'autres se joindront à nous pour aider encore plus de familles dans le besoin. Ensemble, nous pouvons surmonter cette crise! Restez en bonne santé!
Federer’s act of generosity earned him plenty of respect from fans. However, many others also drew a parallel between the Swiss legend and Indian sporting icons.
Roger Federer donated 1.02 million dollar to help victims of coronavirus in his country Switzerland.
Indian cricketers helped coronavirus victims by making clapping video and getting Retweets on Twitter.
— IRONY MAN (@karanku100) March 25, 2020
Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer, former great Shane Warne, Stuart Broad, Bangladesh cricket team donated for fighting #coronavirusindia
BCCI, Kohli, Sachin, Rohit, Dhoni, et al? Zilch
— bharat1 (@Bharat1947_) March 25, 2020
Earlier this week, Pathan brothers became the first big sporting names in India to publically donate over 4,000 masks for those exposed to the coronavirus pandemic. Taking to Twitter, Irfan had written, “Doing our bit for the society. Whatever u guys can do please go ahead and help each other as far as sanitation is concerned.But don’t gather crowd! @iamyusufpathan #corona it’s a small start hopefully we will be keep helping more. Everyone of us…”
Doing our bit for the society. Whatever u guys can do please go ahead and help each other as far as sanitation is concerned.But don’t gather crowd! @iamyusufpathan #corona it’s a small start hopefully we will be keep helping more. Everyone of us… pic.twitter.com/7oG7Sx4wfF
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) March 23, 2020
In contrast, Indian cricketers have either shared the videos of clapping on social media to please the Indian prime minister or issuing public messages on the need to stay indoors for the next 21 days as directed by Narendra Modi.
In another video, several former and current India cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Shreyas Iyer were seen responding to Modi’s call for clapping at 5 pm on 22 March.
India’s rich and billionaire businessmen have come under flak for not doing enough to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Faced with condemnation, several businessmen such as Anand Mahindra and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced several measures to help health officials in dealing with the pandemic.
Elsewhere, defending Wimbledon champion Simona Halep announced last week that she would donate money to pay for medical equipment in her home country of Romania. Pep Guardiola, manager of English football club Manchester City, has announced to donate 1m euros (Rs 7.6 crore) to fight the outbreak in Spain. Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has also donated Rs 7.6 crore to hospitals in Barcelona and Argentina. The same amount has been donated by Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes to three intensive care units for patients suffering from coronavirus at hospitals in Lisbon and Porto, reported the BBC.