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29 Dec, 2020 20:25

‘The biggest prayers’: Russia-based Lovren joins Chelsea’s Kovacic in relief bid as he offers hotel to Croatia earthquake victims

‘The biggest prayers’: Russia-based Lovren joins Chelsea’s Kovacic in relief bid as he offers hotel to Croatia earthquake victims

Zenit St. Petersburg star Dejan Lovren has offered families made homeless by a strong earthquake in Croatia the chance to stay at his hotel, appearing to imply that his homeland had been struck by a force that "resented" it.

World Cup finalist Lovren offered his Joel Hotel in Novalja, which would usually charge around $200 a night for a room, to the 16 "most endangered" families from the earthquake which destroyed some homes and buildings in Petrinja.

The town, to the south-east of capital Zagreb, was struck by a huge quake that was felt as far away as Austria on Tuesday, leading Lovren to suggested that the country had been "resented" by "someone".

"I feel sorry for all the people who are going through these fears," the Premier League winner with Liverpool last season told his Instagram following of more than 2.8 million, lamenting the "terrible" disaster.

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"The biggest prayers go to the town of Petrinja. Hold on, dear people. Don't let it separate us."

The 31-year-old later provided contact details to those needing temporary accommodation, adding: "Preference is given to families with children."

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who is also Croatian, also pledged help through his foundation, echoing Lovren's sentiments while providing an email address to contact.

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Lovren has had a mixed year in the news, causing controversy when he took aim at Microsoft boss Bill Gates over 5G and coronavirus conspiracy theories before joining Russian champions Zenit from Liverpool for more than $14 million.

Fans praised the center-back as having a "heart of gold" for his latest humanitarian gesture, with Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic among those to salute him.

Lovren reportedly donated around $80,000 to a children's charity in Croatia while he was at Liverpool.

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