Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher plans to donate $10 million to aid efforts for tsunami victims in Asia, making the Ferrari driver the leader among a growing number of sports stars providing help.
Schumacher's manager Willi Weber made the pledge Tuesday during a telephone call to a fund-raiser on German television, organized in
collaboration with the German Red Cross, the U.N. Children's Fund
and other organizations.
"It's so unfathomable and horrible what happened to so many
people," Schumacher, who turned 36 Monday, said in comments
on his Web site. "One cannot simply blind it out. We're suffering
Burkhard Cramer, a bodyguard for Schumacher was among those killed in Phuket, Thailand, Schumacher spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said Wednesday. Cramer's two sons also are believed to have died.
A decision on how Schumacher's donation will be used is
to be made together with the Foreign Ministry in the next few days.
The Dec. 26 disaster killed an estimated 150,000 people and left
5 million in need.
The 2004 Forbes list of highest-paid athletes estimated Schumacher's income at $80 million, just behind golf star Tiger Woods ($80.3 million) and nearly double the yearly income for the No. 3 athlete on the list.
In other motorsports reaction, the Sauber F1 team has
canceled next week's launch of its 2005 car in Malaysia "as a mark of respect to the victims of the disaster." The C24 car will simply debut at testing Jan. 14 in Valencia. The team had planned a Jan. 11 launch in Kuala Lumpur to
mark Malaysian oil sponsor Petronas' 10th anniversary in Formula One.
The auction at the www.sfgiants.com Web site will offer the winner and three friends the chance to meet the seven-time MVP in the Giants dugout next season -- when Bonds is likely to pass Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time home run list. Yet Bonds is also struggling to save his reputation amid the BALCO doping scandal.
A private meeting with Bonds could go for thousands or tens
of thousands of dollars. A small group of fans last month spent $7,500 to attend a small, for-profit cocktail party in New York with Bonds and New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. In October, an auction for Bonds'
700th home run ball brought in $804,129.
The Giants are also auctioning off for tsunami relief the
right to throw out the first pitch of the season opener and several
other baseball opportunities the team called "once-in-a-lifetime
The online auction ends Friday.
Patriots giving tickets for donations
The New England Patriots are adding a little incentive in their drive to collect money for victims of the South Asian tsunami.
Those who donate $1,000 or more to the tsunami fund through the
New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will receive tickets to
the Jan. 16 playoff game at Gillette Stadium. As many as 200
tickets are available for donors.
One playoff ticket will be provided for each $1,000 contributed
before 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 12. Contributions will continue to be
accepted through Jan. 30.
The Patriots, who have a first-round bye, will play either
Indianapolis, San Diego or the New York Jets on Jan. 16.
Contributions can made through www.patriots.com.
FIFA donating $2M to help soccer associations
Soccer's world governing body will donate $2 million to help soccer associations in tsunami-affected nations.
The Asian Football Confederation has promised an additional $1
million, FIFA said in a statement Tuesday.
"FIFA and AFC will also call upon famous football personalities
-- primarily former players -- to help with distribution efforts and
solidarity movements in the affected region,'' the world body said.
"Once the initial emergency phase and efforts to save victims are
over, FIFA and the AFC intend to organize matches in the region to
demonstrate solidarity and support.''
The money will be spent in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia,
Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, mostly to
restore soccer facilities and provide balls, shirts, boots and
FIFA said it also is working with the Confederation of African
Football to evaluate the situation in Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia
and Tanzania, which also were affected by the disaster last month.
Bryant declined to provide financial details but did say the Lions
would make a donation in "five figures" to Direct Relief
International, one of more than 50 agencies accepting contributions
for those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Asia.
"When things like this happen, people always talk about how bad
things are, but they rarely act on those thoughts," Bryant said
Monday. "When you see a natural disaster which is out of your
control kill 150,000 people, you have to do something. Millions are
homeless. Parents lost kids and kids lost parents. It's just awful.
"We're sitting over here making great money and our families
are safe, so a lot of guys were more than willing to help out."
Soccer teams work on all-star matches
Germany's national team will take on an all-star Bundesliga international side Jan. 25 to raise money for the tsunami relief effort.
The game will take place at the 60,000-capacity Arena
AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, home of Schalke 04 and the venue
for last season's Champions League final.
"Football is under an obligation to help," German football
association vice-president Werner Hackmann said.
The German FA also pledged 1.5 million euros ($2.04 million)
in emergency aid to be used in consultation with the government.
About 60 Germans are known to have died in the disaster and
more than 1,000 other German tourists are unaccounted for.
Indian soccer officials have asked governing body FIFA to send a world team to play a fund-raising match.
More than 15,000 Indians were killed in the disaster, and the All India Football Federation has said it will donate 1.5 million Indian rupees ($34,310) to the relief fund.
"We have plans to make a bigger contribution and have
written to FIFA to send a World XI to play a benefit match,"
AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said.
FIFA said that it was talking with the Asian Football
Confederation and that, while plans had not been finalized, it was
possible benefit matches could take place.
Tennis players at Chennai do their part
After winning his match at the Chennai Open in tsunami-ravaged southern India, Swede Jonas Bjorkman said his priority at the tournament
was to get all players to contribute money to help victims of
the tsunami disaster in the region.
"It doesn't matter what kind of job you've got, everyone has
got the disaster on their minds," he said. "Everyone here has
got to do the best they can. ... "
"It was a good decision to come and support the tournament, to shine a little light in the dark," said Bjorkman, who wasn't the only one thinking of ways to help.
"It's very difficult to focus on tennis when so many lives have
been devastated by this tragedy," said Spain's Carlos Moya, who also won Tuesday.
"But hopefully by being here we can support the relief effort
and play a small part in trying to help everybody. So for that
reason I'm very happy to be here and playing in the tournament."
Several players at the event, including Bjorkman have pledged prize money to the relief effort.
Information from The Associated Press, Reuters and SportsTicker was used in this report.