Coronavirus: Swansea, Cardiff and Forest Green in gestures to emergency services

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FA Wales & Hafal coronavirus mental health video

Swansea City have offered use of the Liberty Stadium to the emergency services as they try to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Championship club have also pledged to give free match tickets to NHS staff, as have neighbours Cardiff City.

League Two Forest Green Rovers have also offered use of their stadium free of charge.

"We are trying to do our bit for those that need support," said Swansea chairman Trevor Birch.

"It is vital the football club tries to help the community where it can to get through this difficult period, while at the same time recognising and paying our gratitude to those people still working to protect and assist us via the likes of the NHS, emergency services, voluntary, food and medical sectors."

Birch says the emergency services will be welcome to use Swansea's stadium "if they need additional space and resources to deal with the current situation".

The car park at Cardiff City Stadium is being used to host a mobile testing centre.

Chief executive Ken Choo says all at Cardiff are united in "support for the brave service of our NHS workers".

He added: "We are pleased to be able to express this with a small token of our gratitude to those working selflessly at such a difficult time.

"On behalf of the club, I thank the NHS and its staff for the sacrifices they continue to make for us. We sincerely look forward to inviting them to Cardiff City Stadium when the time is right."

Swansea will work with local charity Matthew's House to provide 180 meals to homeless and vulnerable local people every Saturday until further notice.

The club's head chef Chris Watkins, whose usual task is to feed Steve Cooper's players, will cook the meals alongside his staff in the Liberty Stadium's kitchens.

Swansea will also hold a charity auction online featuring signed club shirts with proceeds going to providing food for those who need it most.

"These are certainly unprecedented and concerning times with the current coronavirus pandemic causing so much uncertainty and concern not just for football but, more importantly, for society in general," Birch said in a statement on Swansea's website.

"While we continue to wait for developments on the football front, the priority will always remain the wellbeing of our staff, players, supporters, their families and everyone within our local community."

Cardiff and Swansea have both followed Brighton and Bournemouth by pledging to give free tickets to those on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus.

National League Wrexham have also announced they will give away 2,000 tickets to "our vital key workers" for a game to be announced when they return to action.

Forest Green Rovers have made their New Lawn ground available to the government in case they need more space for beds during the crisis.

They have also offered the club's Unicorn House building in Stroud town centre, which was previously home to 700 office workers but has now been vacated.

Forest Green have also opened their player hostel in the town for NHS staff and other key workers to use as overnight accommodation.

"Our first guest is a midwife - we have room for 12 people in total," owner Dale Vince said in a post on his Facebook page.

Swansea also say they hope "huge interest" in Wales' cancelled game with Austria will encourage Ryan Giggs and his players to visit the Liberty Stadium in the future.

Wales' friendly with fellow Euro 2020 finalists Austria, which was due to be played in Swansea on Friday night, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was due to be the first international in Wales in seven years.

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