May 6, 2020 / 7:00 AM / 21 days ago

England, Scotland players donate funds to help NHS

(Reuters) - England’s national men’s soccer team have made a “significant donation” to help National Health Service (NHS) workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom has overtaken Italy to report the highest death toll from the pandemic in Europe at 32,313, figures released on Tuesday showed.

The players said in a statement here on the Football Association website that the donation would be made to the #PlayersTogether initiative set up to support the NHS.

“This contribution will be taken from a fund already set aside to support a variety of worthy causes using all match fees collated since September 2018,” they said.

“... we stand united as England players behind the nation during this crisis and our collective prayers and thoughts remain with all those affected.”

England’s women players had made a collective donation to the fund last month.

Scotland's men's and women's internationals had also made a "substantial donation", the Scottish FA said in a statement here

“We have all been at home, taking the advice of medical advisers and watching the news that highlights the heroic efforts of our NHS,” men’s skipper Andy Robertson said.

“We have all been inspired by the selflessness of nurses, doctors and all healthcare workers on the frontline — it only reinforces how vital the NHS is to our country and how we must cherish and protect this institution.

“Throughout the squad we have players with friends and family members involved in the NHS, so when the idea was floated around the WhatsApp group chat, it was a no-brainer and unanimously the right thing to do.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherfordpeter.rutherford@thomsonreuters.com; +822 6936 1482

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