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German football giants pledge $22M to virus-hit clubs

ANKARA

Four German football giants are set to give €20 million ($22 million) to smaller clubs to help them weather the financial fallout from coronavirus.

Bayern Munich, Red Bull Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen – which competed in the Champions League this season – are pledging the funds to Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs, the German Football League (DFL) announced on Thursday.

The clubs will share €12.5 million from their undistributed television revenues, with an additional €7.5 million from their own budgets.

Football club revenues are expected to hit hard by the virus, as matches in both Bundesligas have been suspended over the outbreak.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 175 countries and territories, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The data shows more than 495,000 cases have been reported worldwide since last December, with the death toll above 22,000 and nearly 120,000 successful recoveries.

The World Health Organization this month declared Europe the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and both Italy and Spain now have more fatalities than China.

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