Football brings young migrants and locals together

Football brings people together, and builds relationships a young refugee says after football match in Safi

The game marking World Refugee Day was played in Safi on Friday
The game marking World Refugee Day was played in Safi on Friday

The World Cup in Brazil has captivated millions of viewers across the world, bringing together people from different continents and classes.

However, the power of football is not confined to international tournaments and the extravagant stadia built in Brazil, much to the people’s distaste and disapproval.

Yesterday, 9,000 km away from the Maracana in Rio, football managed to bring together young refugees and Maltese persons at an unfashionable football ground in Safi.

Marking World Refugee Day, the Safi Youth Local Council and the Safi Local Council, in collaboration with Integra Foundation, Agenzija Zghazagh, and supported by the ‘No Hate Speech’ Movement, organised a football match in which Maltese and young asylum seekers pitted their wits.

As a young refugee put it, “football brings people together, and builds relationships.”

Every year, World Refugee Day serves as a reminder of the millions of people across the world who are forced to flee their homes and loved ones in search of safety, and the hope of a better life.

The majority of asylum seekers reaching Malta are young people and the football match created the opportunity to develop meaningful youth participation, and the space to build friendships.