If there’s one thing that warms hearts during times of crisis, it’s football clubs and footballers giving back to the community when their help is most desperately needed.
And since the coronavirus has brought the sporting calendar to a complete standstill, superstars from all over the globe are donating money and raising awareness on how to combat the pandemic.
Cristiano Ronaldo is turning his chain of Portuguese hotels into hospitals to treat those who catch coronavirus with underlying health conditions. Ronaldo is paying for everything, including patient treatment and the salaries of doctors and nurses.#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/szWhNHt0Uq
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) March 15, 2020
And on Sunday morning, news broke of an act of true altruism from one of the game’s biggest legends. Spanish outlet Marca published an article heaping praise on Cristiano Ronaldo for supposedly converting all of his hotels into hospitals, where people with coronavirus could stay for free and be treated.
The 35-year-old would even pay for all the doctors and nurses’ salaries AND the patients’ treatment!
Sadly, that is exactly what seems to be the case. This story spread like wildfire all over social media, but there was still no official announcement from Ronaldo, his agent nor any of his associates.
Mais uma fake news. Isto não é verdade. Mas porque é que os jornalistas não fazem o trabalho da forma como aprenderam (confirmar as informações, o que dá trabalho) e só seguem o que surge em fontes não fidedignas? https://t.co/YzUGAoBw1x
— Filipe Caetano (@filicaetano) March 15, 2020
Soon enough, doubts began to creep in over the legitimacy of the story, with journalists like Felipe Caetano among those calling out the report as ‘fake news’.
It appears that the rumours were born on a Ronaldo Facebook fan page, which Marca picked up the story and ran with it, seemingly without checking the accuracy of the details.
The Spanish outlet has subsequently deleted their article, but haven’t been able to stop the re-reports from going viral.
Ronaldo has not released any announcement since the story broke, while a spokesperson for his hotel chain, Pestana CR7, reportedly told RTL Nieuws: We are a hotel. We are not going to be a hospital. It is a day like every other; we are and will remain a hotel.”
The false reporting has now left Ronaldo and his company in an awkward position of having to deny performing such an incredibly generous deed – something which should never have been expected of the Juventus star in the first place.
This is by no means a criticism of the Portuguese forward, who is well-known for his generous donations to charities. But reports of this nature can have serious consequences for those who do believe them, especially in times of crisis.
Check your facts, people.