Celebrities and footballers unite for #WithRefugees

The official poster for Champions #WithRefugees

ROME—The U.N Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have come together with the Italian Footballer’s Association to launch Champions #WithRefugees, a unique football match between a team consisting of professional footballers and celebrities and Liberi Nantes, a squad of asylum seekers and refugees.

 The match will take place at the Stadio Tre Fontane di Roma on Sunday, with entry free to all spectators.

 The celebrities and footballers team will be spearheaded by Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari, formally of Inter Milan and now playing his football at recently relegated Pescara. Muntari will be joined by a host of stars including former Roma man Damiano Tommasi, ex-Italy international Giuseppe Giannini and women’s international star Katia Serra.

 The aim of the event is to raise public awareness of the plights and struggles that many refugees face in Italy, in addition to explaining the reasons many people are forced to flee their own country.

 In recognising the key role that sport plays in integrating and assimilating refugees into their new country, UNHCR created Champions #WithRefugees.

 There will also be a musical interlude from the Little Orchestra of Torpignattara.

 The football team, Liberi Nantes, made up from refugees and asylum seekers, sprung forth from the Italian Sport’s Association, which for ten years has aimed to promote and guarantee their access to sport in an innovative way.

 The participation of Sulley Muntari in the event has been made all the more pertinent following his recent involvement in an incident of racial abuse whilst playing for Pescara in the Italian Serie A.

 Muntari has become a global symbol in the fight against racism after he walked off the field of play and later spoke out about the racial abuse he had received.

 For more information, visit the event’s official Facebook page below: