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FC Barcelona join forces with Red Cross in drive to support refugees

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FC Barcelona join forces with Red Cross in drive to support refugees
A boy in a refugee camp sports a Barça shirt. Photo: Safin Hamed / AFP
14:06 CEST+02:00
European champions Barcelona have launched a fundraising campaign in collaboration with the Red Cross to raise funds for victims of the refugee crisis engulfing Europe.

"FC Barcelona wants to involve all its social mass (members, fans and fan clubs), its sportsmen (professional players and coaches) and economic agents (sponsors and suppliers) to obtain economic resources and make donations to the Red Cross, who will attend the needs of the refugees," the club said in a statement on Friday.

Star players such as Lionel Messi and Neymar will front an advertising campaign to raise money for the project that will be launched when Barca host Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday.

The club also confirmed it will work with the local authorities to ease the integration process of those that arrive in the Catalan capital.

The move is the latest in a series of attempts on the part of Spanish football to help with the crisis.

The Syrian refugee who made world headlines when a Hungarian camerawoman tripped up he and his son as they entered the country has been handed a new life in Spain by a football coaching school.

Osama Abdul Mohsen, a former first division football coach in Syria, and his sons Mohammad, 18, and Zaid, seven, have already been welcomed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez at the club's Bernabeu stadium and invited to Los Blancos' clash against Granada on Saturday.

Real Madrid also donated €1 million ($1.1 million, £729,000) to support projects for refugees in Spain.   

Real Sociedad have pledged their support by meeting housing expenses and providing educational grants in the northern Gipuzkoa region.

Meanwhile, Villarreal will donate 100 percent of the gate receipts from their match against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday to charitable causes helping refugees.

UEFA have also pledged a donation of two million euros to help young refugees "in Europe and beyond" via the organisation's Foundation for Children initiative.

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