8th,9th September 2022 – International Roundtable Meeting
On a Mission to Drive Social Inclusion in Sport
From the standpoint of Sport as a Human Right, Mission 89 will host a multi-stakeholder international roundtable meeting on the Social Inclusion of African Athletes in Europe (SiNAFE).
On Thursday, September 8, 2022, Mission 89, and the partners of the Erasmus+ Sports Collaborative Partnerships Project SiNAFE, will host an international multi-stakeholder roundtable meeting at the Maison du Sport International in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The findings from a field study conducted in France, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey, will be presented on the existing challenges that African migrant athletes in Europe face, as well as the support mechanisms and practical solutions available to them to support their social inclusion into European society.
The reality is that a significant percentage of African migrant players are unable to succeed with their football careers in Europe. When these imports fall flat, they are often quickly discarded by agents and clubs, leaving them stranded without the right papers, legal standing, or the money to travel back home. They are consequently abandoned in precarious circumstances in a foreign nation, undermining their integration into society.
One of the advantages of sport for a better society is social integration. As stated by the European Commission, sport is essential for fostering cross-cultural understanding. Immigrant athletes may significantly enhance the cultural diversity of the European Union because they come from a variety of origins and cultures.
The key takeaways from the roundtable would be an increased understanding and awareness of the challenges that African migrant athletes face in Europe, as well as the opportunities that exist to support their social inclusion in Europe. Finally, the roundtable aims to build momentum among key stakeholders, such as football agents, sport organizations, policymakers, media, and transnational bodies, to increase support for African migrant athletes.
SiNAFE tries to preserve a simple but crucial idea; equal conditions in sport are a human right.
SiNAFE is a collaborative partnership project funded by the European Commission within the scope of Erasmus+ Sport Program. For more information, please visit www.migrantathlete.com.
About Mission 89
Mission 89 is a research, education, and advocacy organization that aims to tackle young athlete exploitation through social and economic transformation. For more information, please visit https://mission89.org/.
Dr Serhat Yilmaz of Loughborough University, the UK partner of the project and who has led the work on the legal guides as one of the project’s outputs, views the project vital for achieving social inclusion of migrant athletes in football.
“The primary data from the field study by the project partners illustrates that lack of information and understanding around the football migratory process including legal and administrative aspects is a key challenge for athletes. This is something that we need to fix if we want to address issues faced by migrant athletes. Legal guides developed and designed by the project aim to tackle this key challenge.” Dr Serhat Yilmaz explains.
“Stakeholder consultation has been a key component of the project activities so far and the roundtable discussion gives us another opportunity to gather perspectives of different stakeholders to shape the project outputs. Stakeholder engagement in this regard fundamental for us.” Dr Serhat Yilmaz said.
“Mission 89 is working hard to bring stakeholders together in a conscious effort to achieve a specific goal: the abolition of modern-day slavery in and through sport.” Lerina Bright, Executive Director Mission 89
Written by Zinhle Equilite Mashele, Mission 89