FC Bayern will stage the "European Solidarity Cup" (ESC) in 2021 together with Real Madrid and Inter Milan. The three clubs want to send a message of solidarity and use the proceeds to support medical infrastructure.
"The coronavirus pandemic has hit Europe hard," commented FC Bayern chairman and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "We have established very good relations with a lot of clubs through many Champions League games, and have struck up friendships with some of them. Despite all the suffering and all the problems, we in Germany are perhaps fortunate that our healthcare system is proving resilient in this crisis. But we have also seen horrifying images from Italy and Spain, both countries among those hardest hit in Europe by the pandemic. We Germans have a very special relationship with both countries; Italy, like Spain, is one of our favourite holiday destinations.”
One match each in Munich, Milan and Madrid
Out of solidarity with the people of Italy and Spain and to highlight the importance of cohesion in Europe, FC Bayern and its friends from Inter Milan and Real Madrid have agreed to stage the 'European Solidarity Cup - Football for Heroes'. Depending on the match calendar, and also depending on when football can be played in front of spectators again, the three teams will play each other in 2021 in a round-robin group, with one match staged in each city: Madrid (Real vs. Inter), Milan (Inter vs. FC Bayern) and Munich (FC Bayern vs. Real). The patron of the match between FC Bayern and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena will be Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder.
Proceeds to go towards medical infrastructure
"Nurses, carers and doctors in particular are doing an outstanding job for society at the moment," Rummenigge continued. "We want to pay tribute to this, and that's why it is called ‘Football for Heroes’. FC Bayern will invite 5,000 nurses, carers and doctors to the Allianz Arena for the match against Real Madrid. We, the three clubs, want to show these heroes our appreciation, respect and gratitude."
The net proceeds from all three games will be donated to medical facilities in Italy and Spain. FC Bayern sees its contribution as a symbol of support for a united Europe, in which everyone takes responsibility for each other.
This is how Karl-Heinz Rummenigge commented on the relaunch of the Bundesliga: