Published On: Sat, Apr 4th, 2020

Neymar donates $1 million to fight coronavirus

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Football star Neymar helps his native Brazil battle the worldwide health crisis

Published 11:17 AM, April 04, 2020

Updated 11:17 AM, April 04, 2020

BIG HELP. Neymar chips in like the rest of the global sports stars. Photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP

BIG HELP. Neymar chips in like the rest of the global sports stars. Photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Neymar has donated $1 million to fight the impact of the new coronavirus in his native Brazil, according to TV network SBT.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, the world’s third-highest-paid footballer, donated part of the money to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the rest to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck, a Brazilian TV presenter, the report said.

The striker’s press office declined to comment, saying: “We never talk about donations or amounts.”

Neymar, 28, followed the example of PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, who last month made what was described as a major donation – amount undisclosed – to a French charity helping fight the impact of COVID-19.

Huck, who has been touted as a possible candidate in Brazil’s 2022 presidential election, launched his fund to help poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

The donations come as high-paid footballers face pressure to forego some of their salaries amid the crisis, which has ground the sporting world to a halt and left some clubs struggling to pay their staff.

Neymar is riding out the pandemic at his luxury villa in Mangaratiba, a resort town outside Rio.

He faced criticism last week after he was photographed relaxing with a group of friends on a beach volleyball court, even as half the world’s population – including most of Brazil – is in confinement to slow the virus’ spread.

His press team said he was receiving no visitors and was in quarantine at a “completely isolated” residence with people who made the trip from France with him. – Rappler.com

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