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City to welcome refugees this weekend

Bristol City and Bristol City Women will join more than 160 clubs across the UK taking part in Amnesty International’s ‘Football Welcomes’ weekend.

The initiative, which was started by Amnesty in 2017, sees football clubs celebrating refugees’ contribution to football and aims to highlight the important role that football clubs can play in welcoming refugees into their local communities and helping them settle in to a new country and culture.

Both Bristol City and Bristol City Women will welcome groups of refugees – currently housed in the Bristol area – to their final home games of the season.

City Captain, Bailey Wright said “Whether you’re a fan or a player, football can give people a sense of belonging and purpose.

“Amnesty’s Football Welcomes campaign is a great way to help people integrate into their new community and to show solidarity with refugees. We are delighted to be taking part.”

“Whether you’re a fan or a player, football can give people a sense of belonging and purpose."

Bailey Wright

City Women’s captain, Loren Dykes commented that, "It can take a lot of courage to stand up against hateful actions, but as football players, teams and fans it's important we all play our part in showing our support for Football Welcomes.

"Lots of people identify with football, wherever they are from and whatever their background. That's why it's brilliant to see the footballing community come together for a weekend of welcoming and supporting refugees.”

Naomi Westland, Football Welcomes Manager at Amnesty International UK said: “This year more clubs than ever have signed up for Football Welcomes, and we’re delighted that Bristol City FC is one of them.

“It’s great to see teams across the UK using the international language of football to create respect, understanding and friendship across cultures and within local communities. With so many people across the globe forced to abandon their homes due to conflict and instability, it’s important that football teams use their platform to send out a clear message: refugees are welcome here.”

Bristol City and Bristol City Women players will further mark the day by wearing ‘Football Welcomes’ T-shirts during the warm-up, and on the morning of their respective matches.