Romanian assistant referee Octavian Sovre’s decision to ask Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland to autograph his yellow and red cards surprised some, but it has now been revealed that he will donate them to a charity that cares for autism patients for auction.
The signed cards were donated to the SOS Autism Bihor center, and Simona Zlibut, who oversees a therapy center set up by parents, said they will be auctioned later this month on Facebook.
“The red and yellow signed cards that my kindergarten partner Octavian donated to our SOS Autism Bihor center will be used for a noble cause,” he told Reuters.
Zlibut’s 21-year-old daughter is autistic and said the center relies on donations.
“My little girl doesn’t know when to go to the bathroom, she can’t eat alone … the costs are huge,” she said.
Sovre managed to get Haaland to sign the cards at the end of the Champions League quarter-final match between Dortmund and Manchester City at the Etihad Staidum on Tuesday.
It is not normal protocol for referees to ask players for autographs after matches.
Zlibut added that the money raised by the auction is to help therapy for 30 autists under the age of 47 in the center of the western city of Oradea, on the border with Hungary.
“The state gives me 500 lei for my daughter [120,61 dólares] per month, “he said.” You can’t imagine what I can do with this meager sum … we parents depend on donations, auctioning skirts, photos, autographs, whatever we get, to make up for the huge shortfall. “.
Zlibut also said former footballers like Gheorghe Hagi and goalkeeper Helmuth Duckadam, who was on the Steaua Bucharest team that won the 1986 European Cup, had helped the center in the past.
Haaland is the most sought-after talent in the European game and has been linked to a move to City and their local rivals Manchester United, as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.