The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is running a UEFA-backed project focusing on football's social role and the integration within football of youngsters from different backgrounds, races and religions. UEFA has given financial support to the 'Team Rainbow'project as part of its backing for its member associations' anti-racism activities.
Lignano Sabbiadoro (Udine) recently played host to the Team Rainbow project. The scheme was developed by the FIGC's school and youth division, based on the idea of identifying and taking into account the factors that can promote the integration of foreign children who play for Italian teams.
A total of 28 children gathered together to gain a better understanding, through their stories and experiences, of Italy's youth football as seen from an outside perspective. The children, all of whom are registered with FIGC member clubs, came from Africa, the Americas, Oceania, Asia and elsewhere in Europe.
For many of the youngsters, football has proved a valuable tool that has helped them familiarise with our country and make initial friendships with Italian children. The young participants in the campus attended educational meetings, where they were shown the rights and duties arising from being a football player, how to value themselves and their team-mates, and how to respect their opponents.
This experience will be put in a book which will feature a whole range of personal life stories that will narrate the problems and the integration challenges that the children and their families have had to face during their journey from their place of origin to and across Italy.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.