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Premier League Fans Fund helps refugees attend Sheffield United FC matches

Premier League Fans Fund helps refugees attend Sheffield United FC matches

Date published: 17/11/2017
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The Premier League Fans Fund is a commitment from the Premier League to fund projects and organisations which improve the relationship between fans and their clubs, the way football supporters engage with each other and fans’ experience of the game. With the support of the Fund, Football Unites Racism Divides (FURD) and Sheffield United FC used a common love of football to offer hope to some of the city’s refugee population.

FURD is a community engagement organisation that uses football as a tool to challenge prejudice and provide opportunities for minority groups. With Premier League support, the organisation has helped over 40 refugees and asylum seekers attend Sheffield United matches since the beginning of the 2016/17 season, allowing many of them to better socially integrate with the local community and use football as a means of forgetting about the stresses of their everyday lives. 

“When Sheffield United are winning I am very happy but when they lose, I don’t like it. The good thing about going to a match is that it helps me forget all about my stress,” explained Kam, an asylum seeker who fled his home in Chad two years ago.

Thanks to the FURD project, refugees like Kam have been able to build friendships and share their love of football with local Sheffield United fans, creating a sense of belonging in their often-isolated situations. 

Jad, a Syrian refugee, explained how the project helped to conjure memories of home, and expressed his new-found affinity for the Blades: “It brings back memories of going to watch matches in my home country, and now that I live in Sheffield, I have to be loyal to the city and support this club.”  

The end of the 2016/17 season saw the group celebrate United’s record-breaking promotion to The Championship, and it is hoped that they will continue to follow the club for years to come.  


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“When Sheffield United are winning I am very happy but when they lose, I don’t like it. The good thing about going to a match is that it helps me forget all about my stress”- Kam, an asylum seeker from Chad

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