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The New Arab

Football star Xavi donates his yacht to save refugees

The former Barcelona midfielder now plays for Qatar's al-Sadd [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 2 August, 2016

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Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has donated his yacht to be auctioned off to fund a charity dedicated to saving refugees in the Mediterranean.

FC Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, currently playing for Qatari club al-Sadd has donated his private yacht to a charity to raise funds to help people perilously crossing the Mediterranean.

The 36-year-old player has donated his nine-metre vessel to Barcelona-based charity Proactivia Open Arms (POA), which is dedicated to saving lives at sea.

The yacht is to be auctioned off to fund POA's operations off the coast of Lesbos, Libya and in the wider Mediterranean.

The POA released a video of Xavi handing the yacht over to their organisation on Facebook.

"Football player Xavi Hernandez is working with Proactive Open Arms with the donation of a yacht that will be auctioned soon. He came across our work a while ago and decided to donate his yacht to obtain more resources in order to ensure the permanence of the mission," the organisation wrote in a message.

"Thank you, Xavi, gestures like yours, will save many lives," the POA added.

The charity has managed to save the lives of more than 3,000 people off the Libyan coast, according to the Spanish news site ES.

Over 3,000 refugees have died while attempting to make the dangerous sea journey into Europe from war-torn regions in North Africa and the Middle East since the start of the year.

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