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#CombatCorona: Bale, Loftus-Cheek & Pickford headline FIFA 20 charity tournament in Covid-19 battle

12:21 GMT+3 22/03/2020
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Gareth Bale, Jordan Pickford
The Wales international and England duo are among several stars who will headline a competition that hopes to contribute in combating the pandemic

Gareth Bale, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jordan Pickford are among the footballers set to play in a FIFA 20 tournament livestreamed around the world to help raise funds to fight Covid-19.

The Wales international and England duo headline a star-studded list of players who will be involved in the Combat Corona initiative, which will see them swap stadiums for screens as they square off in aid of several charities combating the coronavirus pandemic around the globe.

Alongside Real Madrid man Bale, other names include Loftus-Cheek's Chelsea colleagues Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour, Manchester United pair Luke Shaw and Daniel James, Pickford's Everton team-mate Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Arsenal star Kieran Tierney, with more hoped to join in the coming weeks.

With much of the world on lockdown following the suspension of virtually all major sporting activity across the globe, leading lights from across football have been mulling over how to help in the struggle against Covid-19, with cases having topped 300,000 this week and the fatality count steadily rising.

The FIFA tournament, which will be broadcast on Twitch and has been organised by esports company 38 Entertainment in conjunction with Bale, is one way in which players hope to be able help contribute, with a celebrity host set to be announced in due course and Q&As alongside matches.

"During this difficult time, I want to give back and try to help in any way I can," Bale revealed in a statement. "#CombatCorona is a great initiative that hopefully helps the fight against coronavirus and whilst at the same time, entertain those who are unable to leave their homes. If we all do our part we can beat this together."

38 Entertainment co-founder Jonathan Kark echoed his sentiments, adding: "We are really excited to be supporting the fight against Covid-19 with the launch of Combat Corona.

"Elite footballers are giving their time and efforts to entertain millions of fans during the quiet period of sport and more importantly inspire them to donate to support the most vulnerable in our communities."

Questions continue over whether the current domestic football season will be completed across Europe as teams hope to avoid bringing an enforced close to their campaigns.