Football leading to European Integration

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Football is a global phenomena that not only provides an unadulterated entertainment but also has a socio-political impact in unifying Europe.

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How is Football leading to European Integration What is the most loved sport in the world If we ask this question to 10 random strangers 8 out of 10 will say Football or soccer as it’s known in USA to be the sport that is endorsed largely all over the world. With approximately 5 billion recorded television viewers of the FIFA tournament around 2-3 billion TV audience for the Euro event and with 5-6 million registered users who play fantasy football or fantasy soccer the sport is undoubtedly at the peak of the sporting pyramid. The game is 90 minutes of pure beauty with raw adrenaline pumping through the veins of those play as well as those who watch the play. But I am not here to blindly praise the sport without giving valid justifications. I am rather here to mull over a completely different aspect of the game. What attests football to be more than just a sport is it’s philanthropic abilities and its political implications. In the contemporary world Europe has been going through an unification triggered by Football. This is rendered possible primarily due to lenient immigration laws of the countries under the ambit of the European Union. European football is now standing at the threshold of a new era where sport an politics share the same page in shaping the Society. Thanks to the increasingly liberal mindset of the people and their government all over the EU countries that now enables people to travel and settle anywhere in Europe without much hassle. Since the 1990s there also has been a significant amendment in the European Refugee Laws led to greater acceptance of Refugees to take settlement in Europe from across the world. Compared to other sectors the football training academies and clubs are ahead of the race to recruit refugees and non-nationals into the club. Clubs that once recruited fans and players from their immediate neighbourhood now scour the continent for talent and are watched in every country. Consequently any individual with talent can get enrolled into any of the clubs regardless of their nationality. This is rendered possible due to Europe’s political and economic integration. In the 1990s football integration in Europe leapt forward driven directly by the expansion of European law. The free movement of labour around Europe meant it was no longer legal for football leagues in the EU to limit the number of foreigners in their teams. All EU citizens though not all foreigners had to be treated equally. Around the same time the European Court asserted that footballers like other workers were free to move anywhere at the end of their contracts without their old employers demanding a transfer fee. Things are now at a much smoother pace and every small as well as Premier European clubs are actively taking part in enrolling refugees into football training clubs all across Europe which is not only bringing out more talent and variety in football but is also giving relief and bettering the lives of the ailing refugees. In autumn 2016 Bayern 04 Leverkusen and FC Basel launched the first project of the Football Club Social Alliance for refugees. In a six-day project 39 Syrian women and men from the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan became football coaches with special competences. The men and women received training from two trainers from Bayern 04 Leverkusen. Club Brugge is also actively engaged in integrating refugees. The club has opened its solidarity team to refugees. This means for participants that they receive training materials meals and assistance in the job and housing search. Werder Bremen provides children and young adults with the opportunity to attend football practices in four different city districts. The club regards the training as a valuable opportunity to socially integrate the refugees. Next to football practices Werder Bremen aims at integrating the refugees through offering excursions and moviemaking courses. These changes have culminated into making the European football teams more racially and ethnically diverse thus presenting us with a truly World Class style football.

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