A League Of Their Own
Football is often described as a great leveller and Denmark plans to put this to the test by setting up a football league for asylum seekers to help them integrate into society. The League, which will see residents of four centres for refugees in eastern Denmark play against each other, is the brainchild of Per Bjerregaard, the former chairman of top Danish football club Brondby. “The project can contribute in a variety of ways,” said Mr Bjerregaard “Asylum seekers can get exercise and variety in their daily lives, and get easier access to other Danes and associations in Denmark. In this way we can facilitate integration through football.” The teams will be kitted out with football strips and boots and what’s more get coaching sessions from big names in the Danish game such as Morten Olsen, the former Danish national team manager. The League has been given the thumbs up by UEFA, the governing body of European football, the Danish football association and the Red Cross. Kasper Koch of the Red Cross can see the idea catching on across Europe “Who knows – maybe it could have the same structure as the Champions League.” Could be a game changer.