Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos, AEK Athens players to donate to Greece wildfire victims
Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and AEK Athens players are among those who will donate blood and give money to the victims of the wildfires in Greece.
At least 79 people have been killed and more than 200 have been injured near Athens in the deadliest wildfires on record in the country.
Sokratis, a Greece international who joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month, owns a restaurant, Platea, with his family in southern Greece, and they plan to donate to charities offering assistance to those who have been affected.
"Platea offers its support to those who have been affected by the tragedy that has rocked our country," reads a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page. "The owners have decided to donate the entire proceeds this week to people affected by the fires. ... Money will also be collected in a box in the store for anyone who can help. In these difficult times, we must be united."
Also, AEK Athens midfielder Erik Moran said he and his teammates could see the fires, which broke out on Monday afternoon, from their training ground in Spata, 12 miles (20 kilometres) east of Athens. There was one blaze to the west of the capital, near the town of Kineta, and another to the northeast, near the port of Rafina.
"We were in the changing room, which has a big large window, and we could see the blackest smoke in the distance, which was not normal," Moran told Cadena Ser. "During training, there was much more smoke and from afar we could see the blaze and the fire. It was very windy that day and it was very difficult to put it out."
Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for three days of national mourning as hospitals treat hundreds of injured people, mostly for burns.
AEK Athens suspended Wednesday's friendly at Aris Thessaloniki and will resume training on Friday.
"The game was suspended out of respect and because we don't want to travel at this time," said Moran, who joined the club on a permanent transfer from Leganes in January. "We spoke to each other and we want to try to help by donating blood, donating money and doing all that we can from our end to help those affected and those who are suffering to move forward."