FOOTBALL FOR FREEDOM to highlight football’s part in helping refugees15 March 2016

FaremembersinFrancewilluse thepublicityandheightenedpublicinterestaroundtheEuro2016 tohighlighttheplightofrefugees,bringingpeopletogetherforaweeklongofactivitiesaroundsocialinclusionandanti-discrimination.

Between 01-10 June, the Paris-based LGBT rights group Les Dégommeuses will host a series of activities to raise awareness of the life trajectories and living conditions of refugees who fled their countries to escape persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity and football’s .

The FOOTBALL FOR FREEDOM initiative will feature a range of cultural and sporting initiatives including a football tournament, a photo exhibition, debates with young people and stakeholders about xenophobia and homophobia, and capacity building workshops in areas such as media and project management.

Eleven refugee players living in Europe will be invited to join the refugee team that will contest the tournament and to participate in week’s interventions.

FOOTBALL FOR FREEDOM is looking to celebrate the emancipatory elements of football and promote social inclusion. The initiative is aligned with the organisers’ continuous efforts to promote the inclusion of LGBT refugees and the promotion of LGBT rights and is backed up by Fare.

Recent media reports suggest LGBT migrants and refugees in Europe suffer from verbal, physical and sexual abuse in refugee shelters.

In February 2016, the Associated Press found out about scores of documented cases in The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, with the abuse usually coming from fellow refugees and sometimes security staff and translators.

Refugees and asylum seekers who meet the selection criteria can apply for a place in FOOTBALL FOR FREEDOM by submitting an application form (available on the right) to footforfreedom@gmail.com until 27 March.

© Les Dégommeuses/ Max K Pelgrims

© Les Dégommeuses / Max K Pelgrims