Coronavirus: Zaha business flooded with requests after offer to house health staff

Wilfried Zaha has offered 50 homes for free to NHS staff

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha and his business partner Obi Williams say they have been flooded with requests after offering to house health workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair put out a tweet to National Health Service (NHS) workers in England on 20 March offering free accommodation while the staff work on the frontline against the outbreak.

"We were inundated with so many people who were in need," Williams, who co-owns Zo Properties with Zaha, told BBC Sport Africa.

"We were trying our best to see who we can help and who we can house based on what we had available."

Mr Williams told BBC Sport Africa that since their offer, they have allocated 50 units to NHS staff.

"Just like any other business, we've been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic," he explained.

"We decided that there had to be something we could do with our empty rooms."

Mr Williams added that both he and the Ivorian forward have found the response "overwhelming"external-link after they put out their offer.

"We've had landlords who have got in touch with us about their properties and said 'just take it for as long as the NHS staff need it.'"

These landlords were not part of Zo Properties but fellow business owners with similar property portfolios.

Mr Williams added that he hopes that even more companies will follow suit and offer assistance to those who need it as the outbreak continues to spread in the UK.

"It's turned into something we didn't expect," he said.

"We're glad to have been able to have helped. We'd like to do more so the key thing is if anyone out there can help, help.

"This is an unprecedented time. From our, side we hope this thing passes and everyone comes together."

Earlier in the week, Zaha sent a message to his Ivorian compatriots asking them to adhere to governmental rules.

Ivory Coast international winger Wilfred Zaha shares a health message about coronavirus.

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