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Get in…….migration, refugees and football

There are certain images from Worldwide media that are ‘game changers’ or more accurately memories of life changing or major events.  This could include such as 9/11, Lady Diana’s fatal car crash, the hanging of Saddam Hussein etc.  Of lesser prominence but a momentous media coverage is the photos of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian Kurd from Kobani, who was washed up in Bodrum, Turkey.  There are a minority of journalists or z-rated celebs that seek to make mileage out of an association with that story – but I challenge anyone to not me emotionally moved by that lasting picture of the deceased boy R.I.P.

I didn’t expect such a swift response – if one at all from the beautiful game, but here are a few anecdotes of actions.

Germany must take credit for its swift call to action and rallying behind the refugee debacle.  Bundesliga club Bayern Munich announced it will donate US$1.1M to projects supporting some of the refugees that are rapidly entering its homeland.  A Country renown for its immigrant Turkish population in wards of major cities.  I believe already Germany has more than 4 x the numbers permitted that we have realised in the UK though the Prime Minster will increase our quota shortly. Shalke and Borussia Dortmund have been swift to follow suit also. At Bayern Munich’s next home game the players will enter the pitch with a German child and a refugee child in each hand.  Emotive stuff!

Closer to home, Irish Independent Bohemians has unveilled a heart-warming mural outside Dalymount Park in the League of Ireland. It has done its bit to highlight the humanitarian crisis engulfing Europe by unveiling a mural welcoming refugees outside the Stadium (pictured here).

Supporters’ groups in England are looking to follow such example with as a minimum “Refugees Welcome” banners at matches in response to the epidemic.  Just looked on the Supporters’ Direct website and not seen any collegiate dictate but it must be on the agenda somewhere I feel?

Aston Villa and Swindon Town fans were publicized as planning awareness raising on the crisis in this weekend’s fixtures.  Holding banners seems the minimum call to action. Maybe Stockport County can link to the Britannia Hotel in Offerton which is allegedly holding asylum seekers bused up from Dover after arrivals via Calais. Free tickets, warm welcome, mascots, a meal – surely our Town can show its “Friendly Football Club” motto from previous campaigns.  At non-league grounds, Kingstonian, Dulwich Hamlet and FC United have plans a foot.

The organisers of a campaign on Facebook and Twitter (@RefugeesEFL) was founded by motivation from our German counterparts in European football.  My companies ACROBAT and FCSM has made a gesture in solidarity.  We have donated and tweeted to a Manchester Appeal for this subject. “Great idea from 🙂 We’ve made donation – we all should!”



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