World Cup: Good deeds by Italians, Germans

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Germany’s World Cup team has invited 300 schoolchildren from poor areas of Durban, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg to each of its first-round games. The team purchased the tickets and will provide the children, who will be accompanied by a teacher, with transportation to and from the games and food at the stadiums.

A spokesman for the team refused to say exactly how much the donation would cost the team but said it was more than $100,000.

And in recognition of the financial crisis gripping Europe, Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro said the defending World Cup champions would make a donation from their World Cup bonuses to help fund a ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification next year.

Italy’s players recently were referred to as a team of multimillionaires by Italian cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli, who challenged them to make a gesture of goodwill in hard times.


-- Kevin Baxter, in Johannesburg, South Africa