The fundraiser by a football fan for a German girl who was mocked for crying as their team lost to England by 2-0 has attracted £28,500 or $39,400.
The JustGiving page formed in honor of the German girl was seeking to raise more awareness of vile online abuse. Its creator, Joel Hughes, also a Wales football fan, said he wanted the project to show that “not everyone in the UK is horrible.”
The German girl of about primary school age was seen crying in her father’s lap among the audiences at the Wembley Stadium in London as their team was led by England by 2-0.
Her moment was aired on television and quickly went viral on social media. Yet, she became a subject of xenophobic and insulting comments.
“I can’t stand seeing that kind of bullying online,” said Hughes, who was determined to set out the fundraising with a mission to fight back the “unsavory element of social media.”
While many understand that it was shamefully inconsiderate to pick on a little girl only for her football tendency, not all were receptive to the need for fundraising, which Hughes noted:
“It is about: calling out vile online social media abuse; trying to add a voice of positivity into these increasingly intolerant times; intolerant, divisive times that are actively encouraged by our shambolic gov; show the world and our European friends and neighbors that the highly visible, and highly vocal negative minority in the UK do *not* represent us all. And that there is goodwill left (sic).”
His initial goal was only £500 but the number of donations in support of the girl swiftly surpassed it.
“I’d like to think that the parents of the little girl will spend this on a nice treat for her so that she knows that not everyone from the UK is horrible and that we care,” said Hughes on his crowdfunding page at justgiving.com.
According to the Daily Mail, Hughes has not been able to identify who the girl was and how to get in contact with her, but he has high hopes that it would be of little trouble for the online community to assist him in sorting that out.