FIRE’s ‘More than a Game- Football Including REfugees’ event to be held in Hampden Park!

The FIRE project’s first interactive event will take place in just 10 days (Thursday 26 September) in Scotland’s national stadium- Hampden Park (Glasgow), for a day dedicated to networking, brainstorming and sharing on how to foster the social inclusion of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants through football.



Since 2015 the political and media coverage of increased migratory influxes has been extensive- to say the least. The welcome and inclusion of such newcomers, together with the concurring challenges that may arise, has in comparison been rather neglected. Partners of the FIRE project, including ESSCA School of Management (France), Fare Network (United Kingdom), Fundacion LaLiga (Spain), Fundacja Dla Wolnosci (Poland), the Romanian Football Federation (Romania), the Royal Belgian Football Association (Belgium), and the Scottish Football Association (United Kingdom), stand together behind the firm belief that sport, and due to its global popularity football, can offer a game changing contribution to responding to such inclusion challenges.

The essence of the FIRE project is therefore founded on fostering intercultural openness within local football clubs and bodies across Europe, and on empowering and supporting the latter to be able to implement their own initiatives and programmes seeking to use football as a social medium between locals and refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. As a reminder, the FIRE project will materialise its philosophy by creating a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), which will provide users with freely accessible courses on how to elaborate and implement a welcome programme or activity.

Glasgow’s event is co-organised with the Scottish FA and is the first of the four conferences to be held across the continent, with the other events planned in Bucharest (December 2020), in Brussels (April 2020), and in Madrid (September 2020).

This interactive event is open to anyone from coaches, trainers, representative of sport and public bodies, local clubs and NGOs, students, practitioners, activists, researchers, and professionals working with the target group on a regular basis such as social workers or reception centres. This is an opportunity for participants to network and learn by sharing experiences, know-how and setbacks encountered upon elaborating and implementing initiatives that seek to include refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers through football.

Take a look at the event’s programme and the different stakeholders taking part:

9.30      Registration and networking

10.15    Welcome         

 Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive- Scottish FA

10.20    Introduction to the FIRE project

Kiera Wason–Milne, Sport and Citizenship Think Tank

10.30    FIRE Project: The Inventory

Albrecht Sonntag, ESSCA University

11.00    Coffee Break

11.10    Q&A Panel

Abdul Bostani, Chairman- Glasgow Afghan United FC

David McArdle, Diversity and Inclusion Manager- Scottish FA

Lorna Gledhill, Policy Officer- Scottish Refugee Council

Moderator: Piara Power, Executive Director- Fare Network

11.50    Icebreaker and Intro to Person-Club-Community Workshops

Andy Gould, Head of Football Development- Scottish FA

12.00    Workshop Theme 1: Person

Ahlam Souidi, Freedom From Torture.

1.00      Lunch and Network

2.00      Workshop Theme 2: Club

            United Glasgow FC

3.00      Workshop Theme 3: Community

Naomi Westlands, Amnesty International

4.00      Coffee Break

4.15      Keynote

To be announced!

4.30      Closing Words

Christina McKelvie (MSP)

Sport et citoyenneté