The Barça and Getafe players showed their support for their people of China immersed in the coronavirus crisis ahead of their game at Camp Nou. Before the game both the players came out on to the field accompanied by children from the supporters club ‘Penya Dracs Units Xinesos pel Barça’, wearing a t-shirt bearing the message ‘Stronger Together’ and also with the message in Chinese 中国加油 (Be strong, China).
In the centre of the pitch before kick off a banner bearing the two slogans was unveiled with the Club taking advantage of the fixture between the two teams to demonstrate globally its support for those who have been affected by a virus which has up to now produced more than 1,300 deaths and infected 60,000 people in China.
The slogan ‘Stronger Together’ attempts to convey that in a globalized world, an epidemic like that of the coronavirus is something that could happen anywhere and affect anybody on the planet. The message being that we have to be united when faced with adversity.
The club also wants to make a stand against the stigmatisation and even discrimination against Chinese people since the coronavirus appeared. The struggle against social exclusion and discrimination is one of the goals of the Barça Foundation and in cases like these the aim is to raise awareness against the discrimination of anyone on the basis of their origin, race or ethnicity.
FC Barcelona has close sporting and social relations with China. Since 2013, it has had a permanent office in Hong Kong, and according to the latest Kantar 2019 study, it was the most famous and most followed club in the country. This fact is evidenced in Barça’s digital accounts, where the club has more than 9 million followers, making it the leading online club in China. The club also has six Barça Academies in the cities of Haikou, Chengdu, Qingdao, Lijiang, Kunming and Fuxian Lake.