Surrey FA is joining football clubs across the country this past month to welcome refugees and people seeking asylum, as part of Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes campaign.
The campaign is now in its fifth year and celebrates the contribution players from a refugee background make to the game, as well as highlighting the role football can play in bringing people together to create more welcoming communities for refugees.
Football Welcomes comes this year during the biggest refugee crisis Europe has seen since the Second World War. Images and stories of people fleeing Ukraine have once again shown the plight of refugees, the trauma they face when fleeing conflict, and the need for countries and communities around the world to welcome them.
To mark the month, which is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we aim to;
• Provide a safe, fun, and inclusive football environment for those from a refugee background
• Signpost individuals from a refugee background to local football clubs within Surrey
• Raise awareness and educate local clubs around those from a refugee background
Surrey FA is one of many from across the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women’s Super League, Championship and National League, Cymru North and South, and grassroots teams that have signed up to take part in Football Welcomes.
Naomi Westland, Head of Football Welcomes at Amnesty International UK, said: “The current refugee crisis in Ukraine shines a light on the importance of welcoming refugees wherever they are from, whether it’s Ukraine, Afghanistan, Eritrea or elsewhere. Football Welcomes is a great initiative to do this.
“It’s heartening to see clubs using football as a powerful force for good, bringing people together and a providing a sense of belonging.
“With the support from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Amnesty will continue to welcome refugees alongside football clubs across the country to show there is more that unites us than divides us."