Chelsea have joined up with charity Refuge to raise money to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse during the coronavirus crisis.

Players from their men and women’s squads have taken part in a digital campaign and Chelsea will match all donations over the next six weeks.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta told the club’s official site: “Domestic violence is such a serious issue in society and we must double our efforts to look after those in danger during this ongoing pandemic.

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“I am so proud of my club for supporting Refuge in their vital work protecting vulnerable women and children.”

Refuge provides a national network of specialist services which support around 6,500 women and children, including emergency accommodation, community outreach and a team of child support workers.

Reports have suggested the Covid-19 global pandemic has led to increases in domestic abuse incidents due to the periods of isolation and lock down.

Women’s manager Emma Hayes said: “I am proud to lead the club’s support of this worthy cause during such a difficult time for so many.

“There are many things for people to deal with in the present climate but it is important we support the vulnerable and those who may feel alone or without a voice.

“I hope this campaign can do that and make a difference to those who need support.”

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