The greatest movement of people seeking refuge in Europe since the second world war is taking place across the continent. The total numbers of people escaping war and poverty by seeking a new home in Europe will be in excess of 1 million people.
The challenges these numbers present are manifold with the re-settlement of individuals and families a priority, alongside the need to ensure their longer-term inclusion into society.
Fare believes that sport can play a role in helping to meet some of the challenges faced by new arrivals and ensure the safe integration of individuals into communities.
Activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees over recent months. One of the ways of doing so has been through the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.
Fare has created a database of grassroots organisations, teams and football clubs that are actively welcoming refugees or organising training sessions and other initiatives to help refugees find a place.
The list is not comprehensive. If you know about a team or club that works with refugees, or if you want to set up a group or team, please get in touch by sending an email to email@example.com.
The asylum camp Erdberg is a temporary home to roughly 500 people. About 270 are underage children between 14 and 18, who have arrived without their parents or other legal guardians. The organisations Connect.Erdberg and Connect.Traiskirchen aim to offer to these children a new perspective with the help of free activities.
They host workshops and sport sessions, in which the teenagers get to know more about the new country they now live in and which helps them to connect to the local community. Initiatives and NGOs, like Goodball, Microsoccer and FairPlay are supporters of the programme.
Dynamo und Dynama Donau
Vienna-based club Dynamo Donau have started an initiative to welcome refugees to join their training sessions. The club is currently looking for female players to join their women’s team. Trainings take place every Wednesday at 18:00. For more information click here.
FairPlay set up a database of Austrian initiatives and organisations that welcome refugees in their clubs and teams. The list is updated on a regular basis and people can contact FairPlay for more information or if they want to add something. Send an email.
The educational organisation PROSA (Projekt Schule für Alle – Project School for All) gives refugees over the age of 15, who by Austrian law don’t have the right to attend school in the country, the opportunity to pursue their education. A recently formed football team enables teachers, volunteers and refugees to get to know each other and to socialise on a more informal level. Everybody is invited to the training sessions.
FK Austria Vienna
Austrian Bundesliga team FK Austria Vienna organises weekly football training sessions for refugees in co-operation with the initiative Connect.Erdberg at the club’s academy.
Flucht nach Vorn
Flucht nach Vorn is a club working together with accompanied and unaccompanied under age refugees. The institution offers sports, arts, culture, music and education to promote a peaceful, respectful contact with one another without any prejudices or discrimination. The club organises weekly training sessions in many sports, e.g. football, skating, basketball, volleyball and jogging. The activities are open for all. More information about the project and ways how to participate can be found on the organisation’s homepage.
youngCaritas Käfig League
Children and teenagers between six and fourteen years are invited to participate in weekly free football training sessions and tournaments hosted by youngCaritas Cage League. The trainings take place in parks in Vienna. Times and venues can be found here.
Kicken ohne Grenzen
The Vienna-based project offers football training sessions for youth refugees and amateur players. Over 40 boys and girls currently take part in the group’s sessions.
They are looking for coaches and players to join the project.
Contact them through their website.
NBA Vienna (Neighbourhood moves Asylum seekers)
The project Nachbarschaft Bewegt Asylbewerber initiated by by the Viennese basketball team Capricorns supports refugees from the Erdberg refugees camp.
The organisers offer bi-weekly training sessions to teenagers living in the camps. The club aims to fight discrimination and promote solidarity and humanity and to help the refugees forget their sorrows and fears. Regular sessions give structure to the often very boring everyday life of many of the refugees.
Twentyone FC has opened its training sessions for refugees to contribute to recent supportive actions for refugees in Austria. Teenaged and adult refugees are invited to participate in the sessions on Thursdays between 8 and 10 pm in the club’s ground at Erdbrustgasse 4-18, 1160 Wien. The club provides sports clothes for the participants and will host events in the near future.
For more information, contact David Hudelist via email or 017133594-72 beforehand.
BX Brussels supports the homeless competition for people in Brussels, the BXLR Cup, in which teams are mainly constituted of asylum seekers. BX Brussels offers free meals, training sessions, club card member and facilitates internships opportunities.
First division club, Club Brugge, has opened its solidarity team to refugees. The club not only provides training sessions, but training material, meals but also assistance to find a job or a home.
Daring Maria-Aalter run training sessions for refugee children and has in the past donated training materials for the refugee children.
FC Molenbeek Girls
Women’s club FC Molenbeek initiated a training project for refugee girls, which from next year’s onwards will be integrated in the club’s youth department.
FC Hattrick is a football team from Mechelen, formed in 2010. The club offers football sessions for refugees and uses football to included the newly arrived into the local community.
Kraainem-based amateur club Kraainem FC offers football trainings and language courses for refugees on a weekly basis. Over 300 children and teenagers from 42 countries benefit from the club’s activities.
Kraainem FC also helps collect football material for newly arrived refugees.
In Grembergen, East Flanders, KSK Grembergen is hosting training sessions for 50 refugee children, which will be integrated in the club’s youth team over the next season.
The club has also donated training and football material to the children.
RFC Liege fans, staff and partners initiated a goods collection initiative ‘A Warm Heart’ for refugee centres, including clothes and bicycles.
SK Gerda Sint-Niklaas
Daring Maria-Aalter run training sessions for refugee children and has in the past donated training materials for the refugee children.
The club has two projects dedicated to promote the inclusion of refugees. The first is name ‘I can!’ and helps a group of 15 asylum seekers to find jobs through the values of football, while the second is named ‘Rap on stap’ is a initiative that decreases club membership fees for refugees.
Belgium 4th division club SVV Damme hold training sessions for asylum seekers in Sijsele.
Grassroots club Velm VV longstanding commitment to welcome refugees has fostered new talent in its youth academy.
Tang Ra Futsal Sofia
Tang Ra Futsal Sofia was born after the refugees team ‘Team of Hope’. At Tang Ra players have the chance to compete in sport events and benefit from social activities after the training sessions.
For more information visit their website.
Team of Hope
Team of Hope is an amateur sports team made up of disadvantaged people, Roma and refugees living in Bulgaria. The team’s football programme is designed to combat social exclusion.
Visit their Facebook page.
NK Zagreb 041
NK Zagreb 041 is a newly founded club that aims to integrate everyone via direct democracy and to fight all forms of discrimination. The club was set up by the Ultras Bijeli anđeli from Zagreb who recently left their club NK Zagreb in protest over mismanagement and corruption. They have founded their own football club together with migrants and refugees. A number of refugees have joined the club and are either supporting the team or are playing in the first squad.
The new club is actively cherishing the powerful idea of social activism and is committed to the idea that the fan association as well as every individual, can make a contribution to the fight against hate, violence, discrimination, racism, fascism, homophobia etc. for which there is no place in football.
NK Zagreb 041 on Facebook
Grassroots ACFC offers football opportunities for youth migrants and ethnic minorities in Aarhus.
Asylliga, in English Asylum League, is a project of the Danish Football Union, Red Cross and Tryg Foundation aimed at facilitating refugee integration through competition.
It is first edition, planed to kick-off on 5 August 2016, refugees centres in western Zealand, Avnstrup , Dianalund, Kalundborg and Korsor will be participating.
Danish professional club Brøndby IF have continuously promoted initiatives to help refugees in Denmark. The club hosts free football trainings sessions for 104 Syrian refugees and has in several times encouraged fans to donate used football gear, including clothes, balls and toys to help refugees in their everyday life.
Espergærde IF Fodbold
Every Tuesday, Espergærde IF brings together refugees living in the city to foster their integration through football.
Watch the video
Fyn FA and Langeland clubs
The Fyn regional FA and a number of Langeland clubs have partnered-up to offer sporting activities to the refugees and asylum seekers living in the island.
The synergy is offering training sessions to over 90 unaccompanied minors with the aim to promote social integration and sharing Danish culture.
The football club Holbæk B&I.Samarbejdet has partnered up with Holbæk city council and Zealand’s regional FA to involve sports and physical activities in the daily routines of refugees living in the city.
KFUM og KFUK
In Sommersted, Denmark, volunteers run football sessions to over 20 residents of the local refugee centre.
For more information about the activities go to http://www.kfum-kfuk.dk.
With the support of the Zealand Football Association, Køge Boldklub is running two weekly football sessions for refugees as a means to keep them activity and engaged in social activities.
For more information go here.
Nivå Kokkedal Football
Red Cross and Nivå Kokkedal football club is helping refugees in the Sandholm Centre to provide weekly training sessions to a group of 20 young refugees.
The sessions are bound to take place every Friday.
After 200 Syrian refugees have been housed in apartments near the club’s ground, activists started offering them football clothes and balls and the opportunity to attend training sessions and football matches.
Between 40 and 50 asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Eritrea are now training every Monday and Thursday at the Rødby Boldklub ground. The new players play alongside the club’s men’s team to better promote social integration.
UC Syd are offering two training sessions per week to children newly arrived in Kolding. The coaches are themselves refugees and aim to help the children integrate while learning Danish.
More information here.
Arsenal Football Club
English Premier League club Arsenal FC have been working with the international charity Save the Children to help Syrian refugees since 2012. In 2013, after raising £120,00 at the annual Arsenal Foundation Ball for refugee aid projects, former Arsenal player and Arsenal Foundation ambassador Martin Keown visited the Za’atari refugee camp, in Jordan, where he inaugurated a new football pitch built in collaboration with the charity.
Over the last three years the club lead several fundraising initiatives, including an annual match day in which player’s donate a day’s wages, looking to build friendly spaces in response to the Syria crisis. In Iraq, Arsenal are currently building two pitches in refugee camps to which the club has donated Arsenal kits.
More recently, at the Premier League match against Stoke City (10 September) and the UEFA Champions League match against Olympiacos (29 September), £1 and €1 respectively, were donated to refugee-aid organisations.
The club is also a supporter of the initiative Freedom From Torture, which brings together survivors of torture who have sought asylum in the UK for football training and English language workshops.
In Barnsley, South Yorkshire, an amateur team is providing football training sessions for refugees and asylum seekers living in the city along with English language lessons at the Red Cross and library for conversations.
The initiative, which started in May 2015, also promotes social gatherings after matches.
More information here.
Charlton Athletic Race & Equality (CARE) and Partnership and Community Trust (PACT)
Charlton Athletic Race & Equality (CARE) Partnership and Community Trust (CACT) run regular 5-A-Side football and basketball sessions that are open to ALL members of the local community, particularly those groups and individuals who are disadvantaged and marginalised – They warmly welcome refugees, as follows:
CARE United 5-A-Side Community Football: Thursdays (19:50 – 21:10)
CARE United 5-A-Side Community Football: Saturdays (17:50 – 19:50)
CARE United 5-A-Side Community Football League: Wednesdays (19:00 – 21:00)
CARE United Community Basketball: Saturdays (17:00 – 19:00)
Waterfront Leisure Centre
Woolwich High Road
Easton Cowboys & Cowgirls
Sporting organisation Easton Cowboys & Cowgirls is running training sessions for refugees over 18, using the sport and the club’s social activities to promote social inclusion.
Based in Easton, near Bristol, the club offers sessions for men and women, the men’s training sessions take place on Wednesday nights from 7.10pm – 8.30pm; while the women’s team trainings are on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Monday’s the sessions run outdoors from 8.30pm – 9.30pm and on Wednesdays indoors from 7pm – 8.30pm.
Refugees and asylum seekers can freely join the team but registration is required. Please contact Tash Ferguson on 07837 810032 or Susannah Mallaghan on 07890 410143 to register your interest.
For the men’s football sessions, please contact Jesse Tate on 07722 997378 or Iain Shewan on 07549352726.
Venue for all sessions: City Academy, Russell Town Avenue, Bristol, BS5 9JH
FC Kolektivo Victoria
FC Kolektivo Victoria are a football club based at Victoria Park, Leicester.
The club recognises the fundamental equality of all people, irrespective of age, class, culture, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality.
The club welcomes all people, regardless of ability, who want to be part of a club, which promotes mutual respect, sport and having as much fun as possible.
Yorkshire St Pauli
Yorkshire St Pauli has launched a Football for All project seeking to connect with refugees and asylum seekers and helping them to get access to football. At the moment 20-30 people participate in weekly sessions.
Football Beyond Borders Wanderers
Football Beyond Borders uses the power of football to tackle inequality and provide opportunities for young people to achieve their goals and make their voices heard.
The organisation believes that football is the most powerful tool in the world for inspiring young people to achieve their goals and make their voices heard.
The participation in the club is open to all young people regardless of their background. The aim is to make everybody feel valued, confident and empowered to become active citizens and achieve.
Football Unites, Racism Divides
Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) is a community group founded by Sheffield United supporters in 1995. It tackles racism and discriminatory abuse in football and society. In reaction to the recent refugees crisis the group has welcomed people fleeing from war and persecution in their homes and said: #refugeeswelcome. The group sent a humanitarian mini-bus to the Hungarian boarder to support arriving refugees with food and other supply materials. Weekly kick-about sessions with refugees from the local camp in Sheffield are offered in the “U-Mix Centre”.
The group is supporting the Stadia of Sanctuary campaign, which seeks to encourage professional football clubs to welcome refugees through a more formally organised and sustainable programme.
For more information about the group’s work with refugees and asylum-seekers, see the organisation’s homepage or mail Chris Stone
Espoo and Helsinki Human Rights
Espoo sports and youth department and Helsinki Human Rights have launched a sports initiative for refugees twice a week, these include futsal and basketball sessions in the Kannusilta gym and Lagstads school.
Mondial Stars Ry
Mondial Stars Ry provides sports opportunities for everybody and offers open football sessions.
Kallio ‘Meet the Neighbours’
Informal community group Kallio ‘Meet the Neighbours‘, in Kallio, runs weekly football sessions for refugees, asylum seekers and Finns. The sessions take place twice a week.
L’Armée du Salut
French organisation l’Armée du Salut, in Strasbourg, runs weekly trainings sessions for refugees at risk of exclusion.
Les Dégommeuses are a football team and an association that combats discrimination in and through sports.
During their activities the group regularly gathers approximately 80 people, players and activists. The football team is mainly made up of lesbian women. Transpeople and heterosexual women are warmly welcomed as well.
Thanks to pro-active action and through links to Les Lesbiennes dépassent les frontières and ARDHIS, two organisations that support LGBT refugees fleeing from homophobic regimes, several women refugees are taking part in the club’s sports activities. This program is sponsored by “Fondation de France”, namely for the purchase of sport equipment.
All activities are based on the idea that sport is a powerful tool for individual and collective empowerment, provided that it stays as much inclusive as possible.
The organisation can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
Panamboyz United is a gay friendly soccer club in Paris with two teams.
The club’s fight is not limited to the fight against homophobia. Embracing diversity and working towards greater respect and tolerance on the field is the team’s ultimate goal. The club fights against all forms of discrimination, e.g. racism, sexism, anti-Semitism. Refugees and migrants are welcome at Panamboyz. Send an email.
Founded in 2002, the NGO provides support for refugees through a range of activities, which include emergency health assistance, accommodation and sport.
Aachener Förderverein Integration durch Sport
Close to the Dutch border in Aachen the Aachener Förderverein Integration durch Sport (Integration through sport club) offers football activities for girls from migrant an refugee backgrounds.
The Bundesliga Foundation, supported by the German government and a childrens foundation, initiated a unique nationwide programme “Willkommen im Fußball” (Welcome to football) that helps create “welcome alliances” between professional and amateur clubs and civil society organisations. They offer young refugees up to the age of 27 a wide range of activities from football training to language courses, help with fining internships and social activities with the local youth. Currently there are ten alliances up and running across Germany. Find out about the programme and the locations here.
In Burscheid the football club Burscheider Ballverein invites refugees for regular training sessions. The club’s work has been widely promoted through the media.
Champions ohne Grenzen (CHoG)
Champions ohne Grenzen (Champions without Borders) aims to propel social inclusion and participation of refugees in Berlin and the German federal state Brandenburg.
The organisation offers football sessions and provides advice, networking and social events for refugees from all over the world in German society to give everyone the feeling to be at a new home.
CHoG offers football for men, women and children.
“1:0 für ein Willkomen” (1:0 for a welcome) is an innovative initiative launched by the German FA DFB in the first half of 2015. The programme focuses on providing support for and building capacity of amateur and grassroots clubs through a dedicated seed-funding and information programme. Clubs can apply for up to 500 EUR to kick-start a local project, found teams or offer trainings for refugees. The money can be used for staff, training equipment; membership fees or other essentials that help refugees get into the game. Since the launch of the programme over 800 clubs have benefited.
The DFB also provides support through a good practice guide that seeks to answer the most frequently asked questions that trainers and club officials might have in relation to working with migrants and refugees. The document can be downloaded here.
The participating clubs can be reached via the regional FAs that can be contacted here.
DJK Teutonia Ehrenfeld III
The third team of DJK Teutonia Ehrenfeld play in the amateur division in Bochum and integrates refugees from the local refugees camp. The team was recently awarded a prize by the German Green party for their social engagement. Send an email.
ESV Neuabing Sports United
The ESV Neuaubing Sports United is the first refugee football team playing in the German federal state of Bavaria. The players are between 18 and 23 years old come from a number of countries and have very different backgrounds. They are united by the sport they love – football.
FC Ente Bagdad
The German Bundesliga team FSV Mainz 05 and the amateur team FC Ente Bagdad have teamed up to include refugees into their squad.
FC Hamburger Berg
The FC Hamburger Berg has welcomes more than 60 refugees into the club’s squads. Besides sharing the pitch, the club’s activists try to provide medical, legal or linguistic support , as well as sports clothes for the new club members. Get in touch and send an email.
FC Lampedusa Hamburg
FC Lampedusa Hamburg is a team founded by players from the Lampedusa Refugee Group in Hamburg. Most of the players are West African migrants, who fled from violence and war across the Mediterranean Sea to the Italian island Lampedusa and then made their way to Germany.
FC Lampedusa Hamburg plays friendlies and participated in tournaments and aims to raise awareness of the flaws of European refugee policy and the situation of refugees in Hamburg, in Germany and in the wider European community.
The FC Lampedusa Hamburg welcomes all refugees and migrants over the age of 16, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, other identities and abilities. Send an email.
The participating clubs can be reached via the regional FAs that can be contacted here.
FC New Citizens
FC New Citizens is a Duisburg-based refugee team that has been organising regular training sessions since November 2015.
The 13 men team is constituted of Afghan refugees, aged between 14 and 27, who play football together twice a week.
More information here.
FFC United Büchenbeuren
FSV Frankfurt Fanprojekt
Since December 2015 FSV Frankfurt Fanprojekt initiative has been bringing together football supporters and refugees. Weekly training sessions are run enabling cultural exchanges, common experiences and integration.
For further information send an email to email@example.com.
Leipzig United F.C.
Leipzig United FC is an integrative football project of the Leipzig based charity organisation “NETZwerk „blau-gelb“ e. V.”.
Children, teenagers and adults from ten different nations are playing in the team, many of them living in local reception centres. United is open to everyone, regardless of origin, social status or nationality. Send email.
Best practice platform for refugee sport projects in North Rhine-Westphalia.
SC Blau-Weiß 94 Papenburg
North Germany club BW 94 Papenburg offers training opportunities for refugees with the view to integrate the best talents into their league teams. Four of the 25 regular training participants have already gained permission by the local FA to play in the third and second team of BW Papenburg. Training sessions are held on Tuesday 4-6pm and Friday 3-5 pm.
SpVg Arminia 09 Köln
The grassroots club from Cologne, Germany, set up a team for refugees as their second squad. The team has started in the lowest official German division and is supported by the German FA’s 1:0 für ein Willkommen (1:0 for a welcome) campaign. Some of the extraordinary stories of refugees playing for the club are told in a video made by the German FA (DFB):
SV Lindenau 1848
The club offers mentoring and sport sessions for refugees and migrants.
The third team of German grassroots team TSV Friedberg consists of refugees coming from Senegal and Syria and is open to everyone.
Roter Stern Leipzig
The club offers open training sessions for local refugees each Friday.
Welcome United 03
In Babelsberg, near the German capital Berlin, the supporters umbrella organisation Nordkurve Babelsberg of local club SV Babelsberg 03 have been active supporters of Welcome United Nulldrei since 2014.
The squad of the Welcome United Nulldrei consists of local refugees and has started playing regular league matches this season. A representative of the club said: “Welcome United is more than football. We try to give our players a new home, organise jobs, help with the authorities and sometimes just listen.” Send an email
VfB Waldshut offers free trainings sessions every Monday. In November 2015 when the club opened its doors for the first time about 40 Syrian refugees took on the offer and kicked about with the club’s regulars. In the meantime some on the newly arrived made it through the ranks to the first team of VfB Waldshut.
AEL Kalloni F.C.
Lesbos-based Superleague club AEL Kalloni FC have launched an on-going campaign to help refugees in Greece. As part of the “Kalloni FC active in football and in society” project, the clubs is collecting clothes, blankets, sleeping bans, umbrellas, shoes and other materials that can help address the humanitarian crisis.
Donations can be made at: The KALLONI FC premises, 5, El. Venizelou Str., Mytilene, Lesbos (Hours: 9 am to 5 pm). Tel. +30 22510 23551
The football club Moria Lesvos, based on the Greek island, founded a new football club called “Byron” dedicated to refugees living in the local refugees camp.
Thessaloniki-based professional club PAOK FC offer training sessions for refugee children to promote social inclusion.
African Stars FC
The African Stars football team is a team whose players are exclusively refugees and migrants. The team participated in several tournaments and won a number of prizes, including first place in the 2006 World Cup Against Racism tournament held every year in Italy. Get in touch via email
Football Association of Iceland
To support and promote the integration of immigrants, the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) launched the ‘Welcome to the football family’ programme through which they are informing parents on how their children can join a football club in Iceland and distributing football equipment to immigrant children and encourage them to attend training sessions at local clubs. In addition, refereeing courses in a language other than Icelandic will also be organised.
Atletico Pop United
Atletico Pop United is a football club that uses the game to promote social inclusion in Italy, including the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers. The club often participates in the Fare backed festival Mondial Antirazzisti.
ASD Balon Mundial
ASD Balon Mundial, a Turin-based non-profit organisation that since 2012 has been using football to disseminate and promote good practices on inclusion and solidarity, is organising one of this year’s Football People action weeks main events.
On a crucial moment for Europe and Italy in particular, the Fare member is organising a one-day international conference named ‘Cittadinanza Sportiva’ to address the institutional discrimination and exclusion asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants are facing. Furthermore the organisation is supporting refugees and asylum seekers for years, gives juridical support and enables people to play football near the asylum-seeker-camps.
ASD Koa Bosco
The amateur club from south Italy was founded by a local priest and is integrating immigrants and refugees from Africa in the football league. They use the unifying power of football to integrate the refugees in the local community and to enable the football loving men to participate in the sport they love.
Atletico Diritti, in Rome, is a team composed of refugees, students and prisoners formed to advance citizenship rights and tackle discrimination. The team plays every Sunday.
La Paz Antiracist Football Club
La Paz Antiracist Football Club is a multicultural football club giving people from all backgrounds and nationalities the opportunity to play football in an anti-discriminatory environment.
RFC Lions Ska F.C.
Liberi Nantes is the first Italian team composed of migrants and asylum seekers. The organisation was founded and has worked with more than 3,000 people, giving them possibilities to play in a team.
The club also organises monthly trekking trips to the mountains or excursions in the town. email
PlayMore!United is a multicultural team that welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The club has two teams one for youth 14-17 years old and other for 18 years old and over. In its first year, over 300 people benefited from the programme.
To contact the team go here.
Stella Rossa 2006
The Stella Rossa project was born in 2006 with the idea that sport is a right available to all and as an instrument of combating all forms of discrimination and marginalisation. Stella Rossa 2006’s core values are antifascism, and the rejection of any form of abuse, oppression and limitation of individual and collective freedom. Everyone is welcome.
In Potenza, Optì Poba is a voluntary organisation with a legal office that offers assistance to asylum seekers. The majority of the team come from the Horn of Africa in a squad which has more than 50 players in its ranks. The club’s training sessions are open to everyone.
Tiki Taka United
The recently founded football club from Desio consists of refugees and asylum seekers. The team’s motto, which they are displaying on their jerseys, is: “The only race I know is the human race”.
On 17 October the team is participating in their first tournament against teams consisting of policemen, journalists and politicians. The teams is open to all people interested in playing football and in fighting against exclusion and discrimination. Furthermore the team is supported by the Italian professional club Internazionale Milan.
NGO Sportunity have recently announced the third pillar of its ‘Integration through Sport’ project, which consists of a regular football training for refugee children and teenagers at the Foyer Ettelbrück of Caritas.
Trainings will be held weekly n football fields provided by the town of Ettelbrück and FC Etzella. The sports programme also provides for exchanges between young participants at the foyer and the home team, which will enable young asylum seekers to learn languages and better integrate into society.
RS Stars, the football team of the Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, has just concluded its first season. The team has achieved a series of positive results in friendly matches played against a number of football teams.
Beginning as a small initiative to promote a healthy lifestyle for migrants and integration through sport, the football team now has 47 footballers of different nationalities on its team sheet. The players come from different countries spanning Africa from East to West and meet for training sessions twice a week.
Malta Football Association
The Malta FA (MFA) launched the ‘Football For Life’ programme to provide football training sessions and games for minority groups, including illegal immigrants & asylum seekers.
To ensure success and long-term impact of the programme the MFA have identified activation partners to combine forces with its coaches to design and facilitate suitable activities to each particular marginalised group.
FC De Koepel
FC De Koepel is a refugee amateur club, created by refugees out of the need to promote ways of fostering inclusion and ludic activities. The team’s training sessions are at FC Haarlem Kennemerland ground. For further info go here.
FC Den Bosch
Professional club FC Den Bosch host football sessions and evening matches for refugees and disadvantaged people living in the city.
More information about the project.
Supported by the city council the club offers football and tennis training sessions for more than 150 refugees and is planning to implement gymnastic activities in the near future.
To join visit here.
Refugees living in the Swietenlaan camp have the opportunity to participate in football training sessions hosted by the football club GRC Groningen. The training sessions are hosted every Wednesday for children and on all other week days of the adults. The sessions are organised in cooperation with the club’s teams to ensure a full integrative experience including language exchanges.
HVV ODB Den Haag
The club have kicked-off biweekly training sessions for over 40 refugees living near the club’s facilities. Out of these seven have already made the club’s teams and now play at competitive level.
In collaboration with a local asylum seekers centre, PSV provides a weekly football training for adult refugees. The football activities provided keeps them physically active and offer a possibility to forget their troubles for a while and enjoy the fun of the game.
The club will soon lunch a new project that involves football training sessions for unaccompanied refugee children aged between 15-17 during the summer holidays. At the end of the holidays, a team will be formed and will train throughout the next season.
RKVV HSS Haarlem
On 16 November 2015 the club hosted its first training session for 20 refugees living in Haarlem. The then one off initiative grew into a regular training camp for refugees and asylum seekers.
Voetballen met Vluchtelingen
In Zeewolde the Voetball met Vluchtelingen initiative promotes football training session for 20 children and 10 adult refugees.
The initiative was launched in 2015 and is looking to continue expanding in 2016.
More information here.
Zwolsche Boys run training sessions for refugees boys and girls aged between 7 and 17 years old.
Norwegian third division club FK Donn runs weekly training sessions for refugees.
Football Association of Norway
The Football Association of Norway have been re-distributing funding of UEFA HatTrick programme to support nationwide social development programmes that encourage the integration of immigrants.
Norwegian professional football club Vålerenga IF started a campaign to support local refugees in September 2015. Among its activities the club hosts training sessions, donation events and announced they would donate 2,5 Kronen per ticket sold for their matches to refugee projects.
Norwegian club launched a cooperation project with NAV Intro Team and the Volunteer Center in the city Vennesla to enable refugees in the city to play football.
The club has also asked their supporters to donate jerseys, football shoes and other material to support the training sessions.
Etnoliga is the biggest grassroots integration league in Poland. It welcomes refugees and asylum seekers and currently includes players from Syria, Iraq, Sudan and other countries stricken by war.
Fundacja dla Wolnosci, organiser of the league, offers pre-integration sports programmes for adults and kids living in local refugee centres and beyond.
For more info please contact via email or call +48502070701.
United Glasgow FC
United Glasgow F.C was formed in 2011 to provide a point of access to regular, structured football for those who might find themselves excluded.
The project was kicked-off to help primarily refugees and asylum seeker. Players from all backgrounds, nationalities, religions, genders and all walks of life are welcome.
Different Colours United
The football team Different Colours United is a project of the Institute for intercultural Dialogue, a Slovak non-governmental organisation, launched within the campaign Sport unites – different colours, one game. The team’s motto is: “Diversity makes us stronger“. Hence the team is composed of asylum seekers, Roma football players and players born in Slovakia who all play together as a team and stand together.
Different Colours United came into existence with the support from Bratislavská liga v malom futbale (Bratislava´s league of small football) in 2010/2011 as a part of the football project of NGO Ľudia proti rasizmu (People against racism) and Fare.
Atlético de Pinto
The third division club Atlético de Pinto from Madrid offers support for refugees that have settled in the local area. Through the football sessions, that the club offers to the new members of the community, refugees can participate in everyday life activities and take part in what is the most important sport in Spain. The club’s football school will be open to every refugee interested in practicing sports and especially football. This offer coincides with supportive actions of the municipal government in Pinto, the part of Madrid in which the club is based.
Futsal club ElPozo Murcia run weekly training sessions for youth migrants living in Beniaján.
The sessions take place every Wednesday.
Cuidad de Murcia
It is estimated that many thousand refugees will come to the region of Murcia in the near future. About 15,000 are thought to stay permanently in the local area. The supporters of the local football club Cuidad de Murcia have launched a campaign to help the refugees in need and to enable them to participate in sports and especially in football. Supporters are selling Refugioados Bienvenidos (Refugees Welcome) t-shirts for 12 € to cover the costs for a camp and for child support. People interested in buying a shirt are kindly asked to contact the organisers via email.
Valladolid city council and the organisations Red Incola and Accem have kicked-off a sports and inclusion programme, which includes football, swimming, basketball and fitness activities for people at risk of exclusion, including migrants.
Askim IK, a Gothenburg-based club, has organised a Welcome Cup to foster the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in Sweden. Refugees are also invited to join one of Askim IK teams.
The club has started a football programme for refugees and a combined football cultural programme for girls. Trainings take place once a week.
Sandarna Team C
Unaccompanied refugee minors in Gothenburg learn about Swedish culture and improve their football skills at Sandarna Team C. Nearly 200 boys are now registered with the team, up from some 30 players when training started in 2013.
In collaboration with refugee centres in Flygskytten and Signalisten, Skiljebo SK holds two football sessions per week from 3pm to 4pm for participants of all ages.
In Skelleftea the Nigerian coach and multiple time African Footballer of the Year Perpetua Nkwocha is running football sessions for refugees and asylum seekers on Tuesday afternoons.
The initiative was launched by the amateur club Clemensnas IF in co-operation with the local football association and the Swedish church.
More information here.
Cymru Refugee League
Over 100 people from six different nationalities have joined the multi-cultural football league, which is affiliated with the South Wales Football Association.
The league has been set up by the Welsh Football Trust in partnership with Refugee Voice Wales and Sports Wales. The league is reacting to the need for more opportunities for players who play recreational football but have never participated in affiliated football due to financial and other barriers. This league will give those men the opportunity to play regular football in a competitive environment.
At professional and grassroots level a vast number of teams, clubs, leagues and football bodies continuously organised donation events, refugee aid projects, awareness-raising matches and other activities in support of refugees. The following list features known one-off initiatives:
African Refugee Development Center (ARDC), Israel
Refugee-led organisation aims to ensure the fully integration of refugees in Israel. On 19 November 2015 the organisation invited 650 refugees to a friendly match between Israel and the Ivory Coast.
AO Coronis Galatsi, Greece
Greek amateur club AO Coronis Galatasi organised a friendly match against a group of refugees to raise awareness of social inclusion. In addition to the actions on pitch, the team’s supporters also showed their support unfurling solidarity banners and flags.
Polish Caritas in Zielona Góra organised a charity football match to support refugees coming to Europe in June 2015.
Danish FA and Red Cross Denmark
On 11 October 2015, nine refugee children were invited to be the mascots of the Danish national team at the friendly match between Denmark and France.
European Club Association
Through the European Club Association charity initiative “90 Minutes for Hope”, European clubs have raised EUR 1.3 million to support Save the Children and UNICEF responses to the European refugee crisis.
Eredivisie and Jupiter League, Netherlands
Dutch professional leagues have supported refugees through a number of different activities, including a football afternoon for 100 youth between 7 and 17 years old promoted by the leagues’ clubs.
Football players David and Darian Babunsk held a football day for refugees for children in Gevgelija, Macedonia in December 2015. Over 70 people attended the event, donating money for the refugees.
Groene Ster Vlissingen and Futsal Stars, Netherlands
The two Dutch futsal teams organised a charity friendly match for refugees in the Netherlands on 02 January 2016 donating the tickets’ revenue to refugee organisations.
KSK Retie, Belgium
Distribution of training material to local refugee centre.
Greek Premier League club Olympiacos FC offered 500,000 meals and 100,000 nothing items to refugees at Piraeus port. Refugee children also had the opportunity to play with Olympiacos football players.
Österreichischen Fußball-Bundes, Austria
Austrian national team activity to encourage respect for refugees.
Oud Heverlee Leuven, Belgium
Belgium top tier club invited refugee children to watch a match.
Raufoss Fotball, Norway
The Norwegian amateur football club hosted a football festival for refugees in December 2015 in cooperation with other local football clubs to welcome the new citizens.
ROC Nijmegen, Netherlands
The education centre in Nijmegen hosted a special football tournament for refugees in December 2015. Students from the ROC played against and in teams with refugees to enable a process of inclusion.
Sporting de Braga, Portugal
Portuguese Primeira Liga club Sporting de Braga organised a food collection to support refugee centres in Europe. The club’s goal was to collect 50 tons of food until 20 May.
State Football, Israel
In September 2015 the non-profit organisation State Football held a football tournament for teams constituted of refugees and asylum seekers.
System for the Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR), Italy
SPRAR ran the ‘Giornata Mondiale del Refugiato’ on the International Refugee Day, a football tournament to stress football’s inclusive power.
Terre d’Asile, France
The organisation provides different forms of support for refugees in France, one of the most renown is the football tournament held on the International Refugee Day, 21 June, which brings together over 250 participants from different nationalities.
TSVV Merlin and Tilburg University, Netherlands
On 22 January the university and the amateur club hosted a cultural exchenge and a 4-a-side tournament to promote inclusion. In addition, a talk with Afghan refugees was also part of the programme.
Woman & Society, Armenia
On 26 June 2015 as part of the the UN World Refugee Day the Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Swiss Humanitarian Foundation (KASA) and Women & Armenia organised a football tournament for refugees from Iraq, Syria and Africa.