Football clubs from across the country will be taking part in Amnesty International UK’s third Football Welcomes weekend to celebrate the contribution refugees have made to the beautiful game.
Scunthorpe United have invited a group of local refugees to attend the match against Bradford City on Saturday, alongside members of the ‘Fans for Diversity Iron’ supporter group.
Ahead of the match, the Iron’s players, opponents and match officials will be warming up in Football Welcomes t-shirts while Scunny Bunny will be handing out badges.
Football Welcomes is part of Amnesty UK’s I Welcome campaign for a better international response to the global refugee crisis. The campaign also encourages local communities to work together to welcome and show solidarity with people who have fled conflict and persecution.
Footballers with a refugee background have playing professional football in the UK for decades. Back in 1937, a group of child refugees fleeing the Spanish Civil War came to Southampton and went on to play for Saints, Wolves, Coventry City, Cambridge United, Brentford and Norwich City in the 1940s and 50s. More recently, former Bolton Wanderers striker Fabrice Muamba, ex-Manchester City forward Nadia Nadim, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, Dejan Lovren at Liverpool and Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke have all made their mark on the beautiful game.