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Barcelona and Tencent combine for Covid-19 relief

(by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

FC Barcelona and Chinese technology company Tencent are partnering to provide medical equipment and materials to help the Covid-19 relief effort in Catalonia.

The two parties’ charitable arms, the Barcelona Foundation and the Tencent Charity Foundation, are working on the initiative. Tencent is supplying the equipment and materials, and Barcelona is distributing them to hospitals and medical facilities.

The first 15,000 sets of personal protective equipment arrived in Barcelona on Monday.

The project is one of a number that have linked Spanish football, China, and the effort to fight Covid-19.

LaLiga itself has launched an initiative in China to support the fight against the epidemic in Spain, working with its commercial partners, the Spanish embassy in China, the Spanish ministry of health and Chinese authorities.

LaLiga’s Chinese partners have been funding the shipment of medical supplies to Spain. Donors include the league’s media rights-holder in China, DDMC; streaming platform iQiyi Sports (which funded 100,000 masks and 10 ventilators); Dongfeng Fengguang (20,000 medical masks); Shanghai Activation Group; Shenzhen Weiming Technology; Hupu Anchor; Score Sports; and Future Arena. The Spanish fashion retail group Inditex is also involved, using its logistics and supplier network to transport materials to Spain.

Sending relief also came from the other direction; at the start of March LaLiga donated five tonnes of disinfectant gel to Wuhan, which at the time was labouring under the outbreak. Chinese-owned LaLiga team Espanyol also donated 450,000 masks to Chinese medical authorities in February.