“Football must do more”

Orbán calls for action after joining Common Goal

Action rather than just solidarity is what is needed in support of Ukraine, according to RB Leipzig defender and new Common Goal member Willi Orbán.

The Hungarian international was scheduled to play Spartak Moscow in the Europa League today but, with UEFA suspending all Russian clubs from the competition, he is instead using the moment to highlight how footballers can make a difference off the pitch.

Orbán will pledge 1% of his earnings to Common Goal’s Team Up for Ukraine Emergency Response — a collective effort activating stakeholders in football to work together to provide immediate humanitarian aid and ensure long-term support to those affected by the war.

“The events happening right now in Ukraine are heart-breaking. Football must do more than express solidarity with the people of Ukraine at this moment in time,” said Orbán.

“I think the events have moved all of us these days and to overcome this humanitarian crisis it is now more important than ever to stand as a unit to help those in need.

“Common Goal’s emergency response is taking action when — and where — it is urgently needed. That is why I’m supporting the cause through my pledge and joining the movement as a new member from here on."

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

“A normal life in Ukraine right now is unthinkable. Too many people fear for their lives and there are millions travelling to neighbouring countries," commented Orbán.

“Having Hungarian roots, I’m aware of how important a role these countries will play in easing the effects of the crisis in the weeks and months ahead.”

Orbán is the first Hungarian to take the 1% pledge – meaning the Common Goal movement is now represented by 56 different nationalities.

It is through that diverse coalition of members and the teamwork it embodies that Orbán believes is crucial now more than ever in creating impact where it is needed most.

“I’m convinced that we can only master these challenges as a team,” he added.

“If you too are looking for the opportunity to stand up for someone this is one of many good ways to show your appreciation and engage yourself.

“We need to stand even closer together - and help where we can."