The founder of Catalan NGO Proactiva Open Arms, Òscar Camps, has said that football coach Pep Guardiola paid for the repairs to the foundation's boat, Open Arms, damaged by weather while being held in Italy. The Manchester City manager gave 150,000€ (£130,000, $180,000) for it to be put back in working order. Camps said, in an interview on El Món a RAC1, that he is not the only sportsperson to have offered help.
The NGO's founder explained that their main source of funding is small donations via social media, whilst their annual expenses on maritime operations are almost three million euros. As such, he says, they have to collaborate with other patrons and bodies, including the Deputation of Barcelona.
The chief prosecutor of Catania, Sicily's second-largest city, ordered, in March, for the vessel to be impounded and for an investigation to be opened into a possible crime of "promoting illegal migration" against crew members who were accused of having refused to returns migrants to Libyan coastguards.
According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Italian police presented themselves at the boat and demanded documentation from its captain, Marc Reig. Reig in turn requested to see a legal warrant, for which he was asked to accompany them to the police station along with the NGO's mission chief, Anabel Montes.
Later, Reig was taken into custody, according to his lawyer, Rosa Emanuela Lo Faro. The vessel was released just under a month later.