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Sport and migrants

Social inclusion is among the EU's priorities for the role of sport in society. The values of sport such as the equality of opportunity and fair play are equally European values. By bringing people together, building communities and fighting attitudes of xenophobia and racism, sport has the potential to make an important contribution to the integration of migrants in the EU.

The European Commission facilitates the exchange of good practices on the integration of migrants. Read about relevant projects funded under the Erasmus+ programme below.

In January 2016, the European Commission began collecting information from football stakeholders to highlight relevant initiatives in the world of football to sport stakeholders. Find out more about these footballing initiatives below.

 

EU sport projects for the social inclusion of migrants

The Erasmus+ sport programme aims to develop the European dimension in sport and to increase cooperation between sport organisations. In 2014, examples of projects related to the social inclusion of migrants include:

Preparatory Actions in the field of sport (2009-2013), launched at the initiative of the European Parliament funded the following projects on social inclusion:

  • In 2011, Eurocamp Wrocławpdf, implemented by Streetfootballworld
  • In 2010, Join in! – Social inclusion of young migrants through sport, implemented by the Nederlands Instituut voor Sport en Bewegen
  • In 2010, Creating a Level Playing Field, implemented by European Non-Governmental Sports Organisations
  • In 2010, MIMoSA: Migrants' Inclusion Model through Sport for All, implemented by Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti
Footballing initiatives
  • The World Football Players' Union, FIFPro, is actively engaged in the Show Racism the Red Card initiative, which has been supported by football players of numerous nationalities. In order to specifically address the current migration crisis, a film dedicated to immigration has also recently been produced. The movie is meant as an educational tool about fighting discrimination and racism and promoting assistance that can be given in the current migration crisis.

  • The Fare network 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. The database is updated regularly and currently lists activities in 17 countries. It also organises the Fare Football People weeks, offering grants to grassroots groups, NGOs and other organisations running activities with refugees and migrants.

  • Football Supporters Europe has launched the "Second Fan Shirt" campaign, which is a European supporter-led campaign in support of refugee-related aid and sport projects. Football Supporters Europe also opens training sessions for refugees (e.g. United Glasgow, Welcome United 03, FC Lampedusa), organises informal initiatives such as offering free matchday tickets for refugees and organises clothing collections on match days for subsequent distribution in refugee centres (in cooperation with NGOs).

  • Supporters Direct Europe has organised a collection of soccer equipment from UEFA, and distributed this to members of its network in a number of countries (Germany, Poland, Denmark, France, Finland) to be used in integration activities (based around participation in football) on the local level. SD Europe has also organised a collection of equipment to be sent directly to Calais for use by refugees stranded there.
  • UEFA, the governing body of football in Europe, has developed many initiatives dealing with social inclusion and has prepared a mappingpdf(997 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  of its members' activities supporting social inclusion of refugees.
  • Streetfootballworld has implemented several activities dealing with social inclusion aspects of football. It has prepared a list of activities supporting social inclusionpdf(288 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  . The geographical scope of Streetfootbalworld project goes well beyond EU countries.
 
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