Preston North End has joined Amnesty International’s ‘Football Welcomes’ campaign for a second year in a row to show solidarity with refugees.
Clubs across the country are supporting the Amnesty International campaign, which welcome refugees and people seeking asylum.
The campaign is now in its fifth year and celebrates the contribution players from a refugee background make to the game, as well as highlighting the role football can play in bringing people together to create more welcoming communities for refugees.
Football Welcomes comes this year during the biggest refugee crisis Europe has seen since the Second World War.
Images and stories of people fleeing Ukraine have once again shown the plight of refugees, the trauma they face when fleeing conflict, and the need for countries and communities around the world to welcome them.
To mark the campaign, which is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Preston North End is inviting refugee groups to its designated fixture against QPR and to its Break Your Fast At Deepdale event this Wednesday for those from the Muslim community who are fasting as part of Ramadan this month.
The club were also able to support those affected by the crisis in Ukraine with a matchday collection for last month’s game against AFC Bournemouth raising £3,084.70 for the British Red Cross’ Humanitarian Appeal.
PNECET Head of Community Engagement Rebecca Robertson said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting the Football Welcomes Refugees campaign once again this year, especially so given the current crisis of refugees fleeing from Ukraine.
“To show our support for the campaign, we will be welcoming refugee groups from the local area to our designated fixture against QPR. In addition, our Break Your Fast At Deepdale event on Wednesday 13th April will also be welcoming of those refugee groups as we celebrate Ramadan together.”
“We hope to continue to demonstrate a welcoming and inclusive environment for all refugees through these upcoming initiatives and beyond.
Naomi Westland, Head of Football Welcomes at Amnesty International UK, said: “The current refugee crisis in Ukraine shines a light on the importance of welcoming refugees wherever they're from, whether it’s Ukraine, Afghanistan, Eritrea or elsewhere. Football Welcomes is a great initiative to do this.
“It’s heartening to see clubs like Preston North End using football as a powerful force for good, bringing people together and a providing a sense of belonging.
“With the support from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Amnesty will continue to welcome refugees alongside football clubs across the country to show there is more that unites us than divides us.”