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Nepal Earthquake: Footballers Donate But Can Football Do More?

This weekend saw two conflicting stories emerge as the football world reacted to the tragic earthquake in Nepal.  Cristiano donated 7 million euros to the victims, helping raise awareness by posting about it on his twitter, as well as Real Madrid’s social media.  Simultaneously, Nepali migrant laborers working on the construction of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have been denied the possibility to attend the funerals of their families.

Cristiano’s donation led us to think about how footballers can influence change in today’s world.  The 7 million euros will certainly help thousands of families to rebuild, not to mention the innumerable amount of people he may have inspired to donate as well, but as we all know, there are some things that money can’t buy…

Help the children affected by #NepalQuake by supporting Save the Children’s relief efforts:

Posted by Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday, 28 April 2015

There are about 400,000 Nepalese workers involved in the construction of the World Cup stadiums in Qatar.  With one dying every 2 days, it is estimated that 4,000 people will have perished by the time the tournament takes place. The plight of workers has been compounded by the devastation caused by the earthquake that struck the home that they may never return to.

As the world’s media reflects on the human rights abuses that made the Qatar World Cup possible it is unlikely that they will be remember Cristiano’s donation.  His twitter post helped humanize the people of Nepal in the eyes of many, inspiring a remarkable reaction from traditional and digital media outlets.   But what if posts from the football world offered a message of solidarity for the family members of the victims, currently risking their lives to prepare the tournament in Qatar.

The football world needs moments of humanity like the one displayed by Cristiano Ronaldo, but more importantly, it needs players who are willing to back up those actions with words. Football’s stars have the chance to affect the lives of the 400,000 Nepalese currently facing slave-like conditions in the future host nation. As football fans try to guiltily enjoy the 2022 tournament, lets hope they don’t end up having to reflect upon what players could have done....