Integration tournament promotes inclusion

Teams composed of migrants, disabled footballers and Swiss residents united to celebrate integration and inclusion at a special tournament in UEFA's home town Nyon.

The Rapid Jonction team raise the winners' trophy, presented by UEFA head of football development Jean-François Domergue (right)
The Rapid Jonction team raise the winners' trophy, presented by UEFA head of football development Jean-François Domergue (right) ©Antoine Tardy/Hospice général

Integration was the key theme at a special football tournament organised with UEFA’s support at the Colovray Stadium opposite UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon.

The teams come together for the group shot
The teams come together for the group shot©Antoine Tardy/Hospice général

Twelve teams comprising migrants, disabled footballers and Swiss residents from clubs from the two nearby cities of Geneva and Lausanne came together to contest the third Integration Tournament, organised by the Hospice général, a long-standing Geneva-based charity body.

UEFA supported the tournament by providing the Colovray venue, as well as assistance with the organisational, promotional and communications elements of the event.

Organisers decided to make integration and inclusion the main component of this year’s tournament.

Action from the tournament
Action from the tournament©Antoine Tardy/Hospice général

On a perfect day for football, the move created positive links between refugees and local clubs.

“The main purpose of this event is to promote the integration of migrants or persons with disabilities in our society,” said Michel Nicolet, Hospice général’s coordinateur for insertion and integration.

Celebrating integration through football
Celebrating integration through football©Antoine Tardy/Hospice général

“To play the universal game of football, to run, laugh and share a similar goal is one of the best ways to get to know each other and to learn how to live together.”

The Geneva-based Rapid Jonction team emerged as winners of a competition played in a true spirit of fair play and respect – but the real winners were every player who took part.

“I would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to UEFA,” said Nicolet, “without whose help this moment of sharing could not have been possible.”

 

 

 

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