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Roger Federer and wife Mirka donate 1 million Swiss francs to coronavirus victims

hannahwilks in News 25 Mar 2020

Roger Federer and his family have announced a donation of one million Swiss francs to help families affected by coronavirus.

Federer announced the donation on social media on Wednesday.

Alongside a picture of himself and wife Mirka, Federer wrote:

‘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.’

One million in Swiss francs is roughly equivalent to £862,067.

 

Switzerland has seen one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections per capita, making it one of the worst-affected countries. According to swissinfo.ch, 10,388 people have tested positive while 143 people have died.

An ‘extraordinary situation’ has been declared by the Swiss government, who have banned all public and private events and gatherings of more than five people. Bars, restaurants, sports and cultural spaces like museums and theatres have been closed. All non-essential businesses will remain closed until at least 19 April.

The government has announced a 32-billion swiss franc aid package to help support the economy.

Federer enlarged upon the donation in a subsequent post.

‘We must help families in need quickly and unbureaucratically. Mirka and I have donated to a newly established emergency assistance fund for families in Switzerland.

‘The fund is managed by “Winterhilfe”, a trusted partner of our foundation and highly experienced to support [sic] vulnerable people for decades.’

The emergency fund will be operational from 26 March and able to provide vouchers for food, childcare services and similar.

 

Currently COVID-19 is affecting 119 countries around the world with more than 456,000 confirmed cases and over 20,000 deaths.

Federer and Mirka, formerly known as Mirka Vavrinec, have been together since 2000 and married in 2009. They are parents to two sets of twins.

Federer is not the only tennis star to have taken action, with Simona Halep promising last week to pay for medical equipment in her native Romania.

The Swiss star also made a public appeal to people to stay at home after being challenged by federal councillor Alain Berset, Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs.

On his Instagram, Federer said:

‘I wash my hands several times a day and I stay at home. It is very important to think about the older and more vulnerable people.

‘We have to keep a distance of two metres and we don’t shake hands at the moment. These are difficult times and I hope that everyone takes this seriously.’

Novak Djokovic made a similar announcement on social media while Rafael Nadal praised the health service workers and those keeping public order in Spain.

The ATP, WTA and ITF tours are suspended until at least 8 June, with the French Open having moved itself to a new calendar slot in September. It was announced on Tuesday that the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

Federer would not have been playing at the moment even if competition had not been shut down. The 38-year-old, currently ranked world no. 4, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in February after losing to Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. He announced he would miss the entire European clay-court season and hoped to return for grass.