Refugees and Football database launched07 October 2015

Followingtroubledmonthsinwhichactivistsandhumanrightsorganisationsteameduptoprovidesupportforandeasetheappallinglivingconditionsofrefugees,whohavefledconflictsandmadetheirwayacrosstheMediterraneantoEurope,afootballdatabaseisbeinglaunchedgatheringinformationaboutinclusiveactivitiesthroughfootball.

Featuring initiatives of over 40 clubs, amateur teams and human rights and grassroots organisations, the database showcases a wide range of activities that are being carry out across Europe to welcome refugees through organised training sessions and other football related opportunities. The database, set up by Fare, is looking to help refugees and activists find out about teams and activities near where they live in a simplified way.

© Liberi Nantes

© Liberi Nantes

Football as a tool for inclusion
The benefits of football for refugees and asylum seekers has long been proved. Transferrable values such as team and play and respect help build bridges among communities, furthering processes of social inclusion, sense of belonging and personal development, empowerment and self-esteem development.

Over the last two months, top fly football clubs, international and national level organisations, stepped up in support of refugees through a number of different activities, including offering meals, language lessons and football gear for refugees, setting up training camps and inviting refugees to matches, donating funds and promoting solidarity campaigns.

Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich announced the donation of 1 million euros, to aid refugee projects, a move which has been followed by the Spanish club Real Madrid. The 80 teams competing in this season’s UEFA Champions League and Europa League have also agreed to donate €1 per ticket from their first home games to charity to help refugees.

At fans level, supporters groups across Europe took the stands to unfurl and display banners featuring ‘welcome refugees’ messages and initiated several solidarity campaigns.

During the Fare Football People action weeks, which will kick-off tomorrow, many more activities in support of refugees and addressing Europe’s migrant crisis will continue to be held stressing football’s role in providing relief and a safe and inclusive space, building on the momentum.

The database published today is not comprehensive. If you know about a team or club that works with refugees or where refugees can get into the game or if you want to set up a group or team, please get in touch and send an email to info@farenet.org.

To view the database click here.

©Liberi Nantes

©Liberi Nantes