ManchesterMetropolitanUniversity CentreforthestudyofFootballanditsCommunities(CSFC)havelaunchedatoolkit,compiledaftera FootballPeopleEventin2014, tohelpfootballclubsbecomemoreinclusiveofmigrantcommunities.
The toolkit, which captures existing and on-the-ground initiatives, provides an overview of good practice in using football as a mechanism for inclusion of refugees and migrants, and offers recommendations for how football stakeholders can continue to develop better practice.
Developed thematically it also identifies key challenges and recommendations for addressing those, and puts forward guidelines for policy planning, strategic developments, funding priorities and can serve as a checklist for evaluating current and future provision.
Commenting on the need and interest in developing the resource, Dr Chris Porter of CSFC said: “The initial idea emerged from a concern about the anti-migrant discourse which gained momentum across Europe amplified by the anti-EU and anti-immigration parties campaigning in the European Parliament elections last Spring.
“We felt it was important to counter that discourse, particularly in the UK, and to look to football as one global ‘hook’ which could provide alternative mechanisms for enabling communities to cohere rather than fragment.”
The toolkit was complied as part of a six month project on the positive inclusion of refugee and migrants through football, which kicked-off in October 2014 during a roundtable event at the Etihad stadium organised as part of the Fare action weeks.
“We hope that clubs will find the toolkit useful. It is a snapshot of our findings, which we hope will give football clubs some insight into the good work which is done on a smaller scale and often carried out on very limited resource base.
“It indicates therefore, what a significant difference some small changes to practice at football clubs as well as what collective interventions from better-resourced football organisations and local authorities can make to communities.” added Porter.
Over 13 organisations and club were involved in the project, sharing existing good practice and developing ideas for how that good practice could be carried forward.