The maiden Cymru Refugee League honours, picked up by Tiger Bay
FC, highlighted the appetite to play the game amongst asylum
seekers and refugee players in and around Cardiff.
The 11-a-side adult league consisted of six teams, each
representing their own nationalities - including Somalia, Cameroon,
Zimbabwe, Sudan and Eritrea.
And there has been big success.
The project has produced approximately 100 new registered
players, 24 new level one coaches, even newly qualified football
referees and six candidates who are progressing to their C
certificate (level two).
With the backing of Refugee Voice Wales,the project was funded
by Sport Wales (£8228) and the Welsh Football Trust. Funding
covered the start-up cost, facility hire, coach education and even
portable toilets for the venues as there were none available at the
"The main objective of the league is to facilitate mainstream
football playing opportunities for players that are playing park
football without any structure,"said Mizan Rahman, BME Football
Inclusion Officer at the Welsh Football Trust.
"There are many talented players in this project who have
recently arrived in the UK seeking asylum and playing park football
with their new friends makes them feel welcome into the
"Giving them an opportunity to play mainstream football gives
them the chance to meet and associate with the wider community
members of Cardiff and helps improve community cohesion and also
helps that individual player build confidence to play or try out
for already existing clubs that we have running in Cardiff and
"It is difficult for them to play in existing leagues due to
some players facing language as a barrier and lack of transport,
players can't afford to pay subs every week and travel
All going to plan, the 2013/14 season will kick-off on November
30th. The Welsh Football Trust will coordinate the
league with six teams competing for the title.
Themba Moyo, Chairman for Refugee Voice Wales commented:
"This was an excellent opportunity to introduce league
football to those who did not have the opportunity to participate
in the mainstream football league. It has created space to increase
community cohesion between the different nationalities in Cardiff
and showcase the talent amongst the refugees in Wales"
"We've been making some progress on running a duplicate project
in Wrexham as there is quite a high BME population that are here
seeking asylum, and refugee citizens. As the moment we are looking
for a suitable volunteer to coordinate the project on behalf of the
Welsh Football Trust - so watch this space."
Success At A Glance
- 100 new players playing under FAW rules and regulation
- 22 new level 1 BME coaches
- 6 new BME coaches currently on Level 2 course
- 6 qualified referees - 2 referees active on a regular
- 2 new futsal qualified referees
- Improved community cohesion between different communities in
- Improved confidence in individuals in their everyday tasks
- Improved BME sport participation in Cardiff.