German football federation extends its grants program for refugees

The German football federation (DFB) has announced it will continue to support the integration of refugee children through football, with the extension of its "2:0 für ein Willkommen" ("2-0 for a welcome") initiative for another year.

The DFB has made a budget of 360,000 euros available for grants to support German football clubs and associations in the integration of refugees in 2019. To date, funding applications from 3,591 clubs around Germany have been approved since March 2015.

In total the DFB-Stiftung Egidius Braun and the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration have spent around 2 million euros to support refugee integration in Germany, with the support of the senior men's team. In 2019, the "2:0 für ein Willkommen" initiative will continue with the aim to create "sustainable integration of people" into German society.

"We are pleased to have been able to arrange a close and trusting exchange with Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz and her team to continue our cooperation this year," said DFB Vice President Eugen Gehlenborg, managing chairman of the DFB's Egidius Braun Foundation. "Together, we will continue to support football initiatives that aim to promote the wider social integration of refugees."

Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz said: "Football connects people across all differences. The many volunteers in the "2:0 für ein Willkommen" program also help refugees far beyond the sport to gain a foothold in Germany - for example through educational offers, internships or job exchanges. This commitment is an indispensable contribution to good integration."

Player passes

Germany has sought and received special dispensation from FIFA to make it easier for underage refugees to be issued player passes to join amateur clubs. This is a common issue that obstructs refugee minors, often blocking them from joining sports clubs in Europe due to the governing body FIFA's laws on the international transfer of minors.

Though laws still make it slightly more difficult for refugee children to register at clubs in one of Germany's top four leagues, in total the DFB national associations have issued player passes for more than 80,000 refugees to date.

Grants are available for all 26 DFB regional and national associations , their subdivisions (districts, districts, referee associations etc) as well as the approximately 25,000 football clubs in Germany. Refugee players who have already been supported in previous years can also apply.

The initiative will offer funding for the following measures:

  • Education and tutoring (eg special language programs in football)
  • Meetings and conventions (eg action days on the DFB mini-games or in schools)
  • School football clubs for refugee children
  • Football activities (especially with low barriers to entry)
  • Organisation of training / internship / job exchanges
  • Networking meetings
  • Special programs and measures for refugee women and girls
  • Reimbursement of travel / transportation costs / membership fees / purchase costs for materials
  • Provision of the so-called honorary fee of 720 euros per person per year

To learn more or for more information on how to apply for the grants see here.


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