Soccer and Refugees

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This week’s European issue of Time dedicates its cover history to the refugees and the asylum problem.

According to 1951 U.N. Convention, refugees are those people running from persecution in their nations, because of race, religion, nationality or social or political affiliation.

U.N. figures out over 15 million recognized refugees that live unsafe at home and unwanted anywhere else, at the beginning of 2009. They are not economic migrants, even though they often have to face economic problems.

So that … what’s the link between soccer and refugees?

I’d like to tell you about an Italian experience I’m very proud of.

Liberi Nantes is a soccer team formed by refugees, asylum seekers, migrants. The team is part of an association whose aim is giving these people a ‘normal’ life through different sports.

Liberi Nantes with its soccer team will participate at Antiracist World Cup, that will be held in Italy, at Casalecchio di Reno (not far from Bologna) from 7th to 11th of July.

Thinking of U.N. numbers, we can rightly believe it’s just a drop in the ocean.

But normal life is made of little things, small steps.

In this case, soccer represents also a chance to inform people about refugees condition, and do not forget them and the hard life in their countries.

Obviously, S4C and its photographers will be there to show us all the best of this tournament!


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