Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) assistance to Portuguese health authorities

European football has been using its power within society to show solidarity and unity in the unprecedented and challenging year since the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, launching various campaigns and initiatives to confront the impact of the virus.

Portuguese- Football- Federation- (FPF)- assistance- to -Portuguese- health-authorities

At a time when Portugal has been recording record numbers of COVID cases and deaths and has entered a new lockdown period, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) is leading by example, demonstrating how national football associations can help the people of their country.

Back-up hospital

The association has turned its Casa dos Atletas (House of Athletes) at the FPF's Cidade do Futebol training centre in Oeiras, on the outskirts of Lisbon, into a back-up hospital for patients who are not severely affected by the virus, but who need medical surveillance – helping local hospitals to cope with the large number of patients requiring treatment.

Fifty rooms have been made available for patients. Medical and operational coordination is entirely managed by the local health authorities, with the FPF ensuring the provision of food and cleaning services.

The Casa dos Atletas – a hotel-style building inaugurated in August 2020 – has four floors and occupies an area of just over 3,600 square metres, and is normally used by all of Portugal’s men’s and women’s national football and futsal teams. The premises are serving as one of two field hospitals in Lisbon, with the other facilities located at Estádio Universitário, close to Sporting CP’s José Alvalade stadium. The first patients arrived on 21 January, and the FPF christened them 'The new heroes of Casa dos Atletas'.

“From the first moment, the FPF embraced a mission to do everything to reduce the effects of the pandemic,” FPF president and UEFA vice-president Fernando Gomes told UEFA.com. “Given the problems faced by our national health services in being able to treat all COVID-19 patients, we made the Casa dos Atletas available for the installation of a back-up hospital, under the guidance of the health authorities, to relieve the overload on the health system and provide comfort for patients.”

“The FPF will continue to help all Portuguese people to overcome this very difficult moment in our life,” Gomes added.

FPF staff volunteers

In addition to this admirable move, the FPF has also taken other important solidarity measures to help confront the pandemic. Following an initiative by the association’s management board, 70 staff members have joined epidemiological tracking and investigation teams, also under the auspices of the local health authorities.

After attending training sessions, FPF employees from all departments are dedicating up to four hours each working day as volunteers in the fight to overcome the serious effects of the pandemic in Portugal.

“The FPF is certain that this decision honours its long history, and creates a feeling of pride among all of those who have worn the national team jersey, past and present,” the association said in a statement.

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