BARCELONA – Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has agreed to pay 150,000 euros ($177,000) towards the release of a migrant rescue ship that was impounded by Italian authorities as it operated in the Mediterranean, the founder of the humanitarian NGO linked the vessel said on Tuesday.
Italy’s Prosecutor had ordered the impounding of the Proactiva Open Arms in the port of Pozzallo in March, something it described as a preventive confiscation under the allegation that it had promoted what it described as clandestine immigration and criminal association.
“Pep came to see us, he even talked about going to the ship to help,” said Oscar Camps, founder of the Proactiva Open Arms ONG.
“And it’s not just him, some other athletes have also expressed an interest in coming along to lend a hand,” Camps said in a radio interview.
Camps said the NGO is financed mainly through small contributions made through social networks and also has benefited from local government contributions.
He said that collaborations from different sources were vital to maintaining the operation afloat.
“The Provincial Council of Barcelona also helps us, it is not the first time that Guardiola has taken an action of this kind,” he added.
Camps, a former basketball player, went aboard the Open Arms in May 2017 for two weeks to help organize the rescue of refugees adrift in the Mediterranean.