Supporting Football Welcomes

The University of Brighton is supporting Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes initiative, which is celebrating the contribution that refugees have made to the sport.

Football Welcomes, was a weekend of activities on 22 and 23 April supported by a range of Premier League clubs, the English Football League and the Football Association Women’s Super League. It marks the 80th anniversary of the arrival in the UK of some of the first refugees to play professional football here.

Dr Mark Doidge, Senior Research Fellow, at the Centre of Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies, has led a research project on how grassroots football clubs and fan groups can build support networks for refugees.

He said: “Football is an excellent social activity that can bring a diversity of people together, particularly refugees. It can provide a free and safe space from the trauma of their journeys or asylum processes, and can boost mental and physical health.

“It’s also a social space where fans and players can meet and interact. Campaigns like Amnesty’s Football Welcomes show that refugees can be football fans, just like any others, and they should be welcomed in our stadiums and on our pitches.”

You can find out more about the university’s research project on the website.

Find out more about Football Welcomes.

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