(Reuters) - Newly crowned Women's Super League (WSL) champions Chelsea will donate their prize money of 100,000 pounds ($127,830) to UK charity Refuge to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea were awarded the 2019-20 WSL title by the English Football Association last week on a basic points-per-game basis after the campaign was ended due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Experts have warned that self-isolation directives during the COVID-19 lockdown could lead to further cases of domestic abuse and make it hard to find support and manager Emma Hayes said donating prize money was the least Chelsea could do.
"It's a charity that's close to the hearts and minds of the women's team, and is very important to our owner Mr (Roman) Abramovich and everyone at the club," Hayes said in a club statement https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2020/06/09/chelsea-women-s-prize-money-donated-to-refuge----the-best-way-to?cardIndex=0-0.
"It makes me proud our club is supporting those less fortunate in times of need.
"Until now our involvement was about supporting the campaign publicly with a call to action but we all wanted to do more than that. If donating our prize money can ease some of the concerns and worries people have then it's the least we can do."
Chelsea had previously opened the hotel on their Stamford Bridge stadium site to National Health Service staff in London, while the men's team donated money to the club's foundation to help support those in need during the crisis.
($1 = 0.7823 pounds)
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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