“We at FC Bayern consider it our socio-political responsibility to help displaced and needy children, women and men, supporting and assisting them in Germany,” the team’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.
The team also plans to donate €1 million ($1.1 million) that it earned from a non-competitive friendly to other yet to-be-announced refugee support projects.
Both Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann and Munich Mauor Dieter Reiter applauded the plan.
“FC Bayern is laying down an important marker and I am delighted with the club’s significant commitment,” Reiters said. “I have consequently also gladly pledged the support of the city of Munich.”
Germany is one of several European nations currently affected by the large influx of migrants, many of whom came in as refugees to escape harsh conditions in their homelands, including from Syria, where ISIS is currently waging war.
While Munich is hoping to do its part to make the transition to Western life easier for its migrant and refugee populations, not everyone in Germany has been as welcoming. There have been particular problems in the area of the country formerly known as East Germany, where most of the violent attacks against foreigners has occurred.
Despite past problems with racism, however, many soccer clubs in the country have offered a welcoming environment to the migrants. Besides Bayern, rivals Borussia Dortmund and Mainz have given out hundred of free tickets to games to recent migrants. Another team, Celtic, announced on Thursday that it plans to donate the proceeds it earns from a charity event match and dinner this weekend to refugee support programs.
“This is absolutely the right thing for us to do,” the Celtic FC Foundation’s chief executive Tony Hamilton said in a statement. “Our club was formed by immigrants, many of whom had escaped the devastation of the great famine. Celtic was created to offer vital help in a time of need and we feel it is important that we are there again.”
The soccer clubs are a bright spot in an otherwise bleak geopolitical landscape when it comes to the crisis that is expected to usher in around 800,000 refugees this year along to Germany, partly because the country has a more liberal view of the crisis than some others.
In Hungary, for example, the far-right leader has ordered incoming migrants to keep out of the country. The nation even went so far as to construct a 108-mile razor wire fence along their border. Their worry is that with most of the immigrants being Muslim, the country’s “Christian future” is at stake.
The German government has condemned the violence in its own country and has called on other in Europe to begin sharing the burden, the Associated Press reports.
With the death toll growing, European policymakers have called an emergency summing for Sept. 14 to discuss the crisis.