FC Bayern takes refugee kids under its wing
FC Bayern Munich said on Thursday that it would help young refugees learn German and play football and donate €1m of the proceeds from an upcoming friendly match.
In the coming weeks, Germany's most successful Bundesliga club plans to set up a free "training camp" for young refugees in its youth division, it announced on its website on Thursday.
With support from the city of Munich, the club will offer youngsters the chance to train as well as to receive German language classes, with free meals and football kit included in the programme.
In addition, the club aims to donate €1 million for refugee projects from the proceeds of a friendly match.
The projects the club will support with the funding are still being decided, they said – and will be confirmed after discussions with Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann and Munich mayor Dieter Reiter.
A symbol of welcome
As well as practical aid, FC Bayern is also planning a symbol of welcome to refugees in Bavaria.
At the club's next home match on September 12th, each player will be escorted into the Allianz Arena by a German youngster on one side and a refugee child on the other.
The gesture will set a positive example of integration and the welcoming of refugee youths, the club hopes.
"At FC Bayern Munich, we see it as our social-political responsibility to help fleeing children, men and women, to support them and to welcome them into Germany," said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chief executive at the club.
Interior minister Joachim Herrmann praised the club's actions.
"It's a brilliant and commendable campaign, and I fully support and welcome it," he said in a statement – describing the club's work as "a fantastic symbol of our country's welcoming culture and readiness to help."
Munich mayor Dieter Reiter added: "FC Bayern Munich have set an important example, and I am pleased that the club is getting involved.
"For this reason, I was happy to pledge support from the city of Munich," he said.