Fans Show Their Humane Side.
As the migrant crisis throughout Europe continues to deepen and thousands of refugees stream in from countries such as Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, many groups have shown their support for these throngs of displaced individuals. In a recent turn of events, English football fans have likewise demonstrated their solidarity by displaying signs that read “Refugees Welcome”.
Supporters from Aston Villa and Swindon Town intend to post their photos across social media sites as well as to display the signs during a Leicester match on Sunday. The Premier League does not prohibit such banners from being displayed. Many organisers stated that they had been motivated after seeing similar actions taking place in Germany over the last few days. They claim that the British public needs to show their support for the influx of refugees from abroad.
Thousands more displaced individuals and families are expected to enter into the European Union during the days and weeks to come.
Supporters’ groups in England are looking to follow the example set by their German counterparts in holding aloft “Refugees Welcome” banners at home matches in response to the crisis gripping Europe.
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Inspired by support and offers of practical help from fans across Germany in recent weeks, Aston Villa and Swindon Town fans became the first to say they planned to hold aloft such banners amid attempts to coordinate support via social media. Villa supporters plan to send a message supporting refugees during their televised match at Leicester City on Sunday week when the teams meet after the international break. Similar banners have already been spotted at non-league matches involving Kingstonian and Dulwich Hamlet, as well as at FC United games. The Premier League said there was nothing in its rules to prevent clubs from welcoming the banners into their stadiums.
The former Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore is among those supporting the campaign to show solidarity with those entering Europe after fleeing war zones in Syria and elsewhere. “I remember Doug Ellis and our team taking aid to Bucharest in 1997 ahead of playing Steaua, and also Birmingham is a vibrant multicultural community,” he said. “I think our great club could and should do our bit to help.”
Read more at The Guardian.