Fulham Football Club is proud to be participating in Amnesty’s Football Welcomes initiative this weekend to celebrate the contribution refugee players make to the beautiful game.
For many refugee players, football helped them adjust to a new country and culture and as they and their families rebuilt their lives in safety. Supported by a range of Premier League clubs, the EFL, the FA Women’s Super League, and a number of non-league and grassroots teams, Football Welcomes also highlights the role clubs can play in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers and promoting integration.
Fulham FC Foundation is proud to support Football Welcomes, alongside FFC. We recognise the tremendous contribution that refugee players make to the game, as well as our unique position to support refugees and asylum seekers within our community.
In collaboration with local organisations including Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers and South London Refugees Association, we launched ‘Sporting Welcome,’ providing sport, language support, and training opportunities for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in South and South West London. With consistent support from the Club and First Team, we’re proud to be engaging more than 50 young people each week in life changing provision.
Many other clubs around the country will be taking part in the Football Welcomes weekend - giving free tickets to a match for refugees and people seeking asylum living locally, arranging player visits or stadium tours, or organising a match or tournament for refugees and asylum seekers in their community programmes.
Naomi Westland, Football Welcomes Manager at Amnesty International UK, said:
“We are delighted Fulham Football Club is taking part in Football Welcomes this year. With so many clubs across the country participating, the message from football is clear - refugees are welcome in the UK. At a time when hate-filled rhetoric so often fills our newspapers and social media timelines, this shows that there is another story to be told.
“Football can give people a sense of purpose and belonging, and football clubs are at the heart of our towns and cities and have an important role to play in welcoming refugees and helping to promote respect, understanding and integration.”
Football Welcomes is part of Amnesty International’s I Welcome campaign for a better international response to the global refugee crisis. The campaign encourages local communities to work together to create a more welcoming environment for people fleeing conflict and persecution.
To find out more visit www.amnesty.org.uk/footballwelcomes