Football Welcomes Logo

Liverpool County FA Supports Football Welcomes Programme

Liverpool County FA, LFC Foundation & Amnesty International UK are working together to help refugees and asylum seekers through football.

Our Football Welcomes programme celebrates the contribution players with a refugee background make to the beautiful game, and the positive role football can play in bringing people together and creating more welcoming communities.

Liverpool County FA, The LFC Foundation and Amnesty International UK joined forces in 2019 to launch the three-year Football Welcomes Community Project.

The aim of the project is to create a more welcoming environment through football, with local organisations working together to help refugees and people seeking asylum to develop a sense of belonging and purpose.

Thanks to funding from Amnesty International, Liverpool County FA and the LFC Foundation have already coached 200 male and female asylum seekers and refugees through the programme.

“Football Welcomes is such a powerful programme and our participants and myself love being involved in,” said Stuart Carrington, Liverpool County FA, Football Development Officer. “We see through this programme refugees and asylum seekers meet new friends, develop a sense of safety within their community and following times of unrest, worry, fleeing conflict, to see them smile, laugh and most importantly have fun, is fantastic and shows how powerful football is and the difference it can make to someone’s life.”

Terri Ritchie, LFC Foundation Inclusion Manager, explained: “During the first two years we have provided coaches and training for our Football Welcomes Amnesty International teams, enabling refugees and asylum seekers to come along to play football and enjoy themselves in a safe space, and a welcoming and inclusive environment.

“The participants love the opportunity to play alongside people like themselves. You can see a real difference that interacting during the sessions can make. Some have gone on to study for football qualifications through the Liverpool County FA, while others have started volunteering roles.”

The Football Welcomes Community Project is based on Germany’s ‘Welcome to Football’ programme, under which the majority of the 36 clubs in the top two men’s divisions have linked up with a local refugee charity and local amateur club to welcome refugees and promote integration through football.

Comfort Etim, Advocacy Policy Officer for Refugee Women’s Connect, added: “The teams are very diverse. When they are on the pitch playing football, it’s just a beautiful moment. It takes their minds away from everything they have been going through, it’s an escape for them, they interact and meet other women from the same background. Football has one language and the team helps to empower women, promote integration, and allow women to come together and have fun.”

There are two sessions a week. Men play at Anfield Sports and Community Centre on Thursdays from 2pm to 3pm, while the women’s session is 6pm to 7pm on Mondays at Tiber Street in Toxteth.

For more information about the programme, please contact Stuart Carrington; Liverpool FA Football Development Officer on or Terri Ritchie, LFC Foundation Inclusion Manager, by emailing