Purps support 'Football Welcomes' initiative
Thu 19th April 2018 | City of Liverpool | By Gary Johansen
City of Liverpool FC will be joining football clubs across the country this weekend (21-22 April) to celebrate the contribution refugee players make to the beautiful game, as part of Amnesty International’s ‘Football Welcomes’ initiative.
‘Football Welcomes’ is a weekend of action now in its second year, and highlights the role of refugee players in UK football - from a group of Spanish Civil War child refugees who sailed from Bilbao to Southampton in May 1937 and went on to play professionally here in the 1940s and 50s, to the likes of Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri and Manchester City Women’s Nadia Nadim today.
Supported by a range of Premier League clubs, the English Football League and the FA Women’s Super League, as well as grassroots and non-league teams, ‘Football Welcomes’ also aims to highlight the important role football clubs can play in welcoming refugees and promoting integration.
To mark ‘Football Welcomes’, City of Liverpool FC 1st team players will be wearing Amnesty International T-Shirts during the warm up for the home game with AFC Darwen on Saturday 21st April, KO 3pm.
COLFC Community runs regular football sessions for refugees and people seeking asylum, which occur every Sunday at Everton Park Sports Centre.
Purps Chairman Paul Manning says: “COLFC as a football club is very proud of our #FootballForEveryone scheme and the work that COLFC Community runs with refugees and asylum seekers coming to the city.
"Liverpool as a city has a proud tradition of welcoming anyone who wishes to make Liverpool their home, and as a port city, we are undoubtedly a melting pot
of cultures and nationalities. We are all immigrants to some degree.”
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 that City of Liverpool FC are 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.
“Violence and persecution around the world are forcing people to flee their homes and look for safety in communities elsewhere, and a small number make it to the UK.
"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.”