Could football help migrant communities “fit in”?15 August 2014

ResearchersfromManchesterMetropolitanUniversityareinvestigatinghowfootballcanhelprefugeesandasylumseekersbecomepartoftheirnewcommunities.

A group from the University’s Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities will create a “toolkit” to help clubs work with migrants.

The group will be working with teams, including United Glasgow FC, who have had real success in bringing together longstanding residents with refugees and asylum seekers to create a thriving football team.

Centre Director Dr Annabel Kiernan has said that the event is “a particularly timely project in light of the rise of anti-migrant policies in a number of European countries.

“We feel that the project will help football clubs to engage with migrant communities in their local area and we’re very pleased to be working towards the positive inclusion of those communities.”

Alan White, founder of United Glasgow FC, said: “It helps people to realise they have more in common than they previously thought. It’s easy for young people, especially, to be influenced by the media or family members when it comes to things like immigration and race – even when they might not have met many people from different backgrounds!”

The project has been triggered by rising support for anti-migration parties such as Greece’s Golden Dawn, who achieved unprecedented success in the recent European Elections.

The team has been awarded a grant by the anti-discrimination network Fare and will work with key partners Migrant Voice, Poverty Alliance, Manchester City Council and United Glasgow FC.

The consultation will start with a round table event as part of the Fare network Football People action weeks in October.

The toolkit for clubs will be distributed to clubs in March next year.

For more information on the project, please contact Annabel Kiernan or the Centre’s email address.

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