A quarter of clubs in the FA Premier League had a refugee in their playing squads during the 2004-5 season, revealed in a survey UK FARE partner Kick It Out.
64% of professional clubs in England and Wales responded to the survey, revealing that 15% had players who are refugees or former asylum seekers. Most were from the West African state of Sierra Leone or from Eastern Europe. The findings come ahead of the Unity Cup Festival, an annual national event organised by Kick It Out to support refugees and those seeking asylum.
Kick It Out Director, Piara Powar, welcomed the findings,
“The contributions refugee and asylum seeker communities have made and continue to make to society have been widely ignored. The survey's findings highlight one way in which individuals often demonised and at the brunt of overt racism, are making substantial contributions to the country in which they are seeking shelter.”