Bohemians have announced a partnership with Amnesty International ahead of this season’s League of Ireland campaign.
The Dublin club’s away jersey for 2020 has the words “Refugees Welcome” around the silhouette of a family fleeing war to campaign for an end to the Direct Provision system.
The jersey also features the slogan “Love Football, Hate Racism” on the collar.
Daniel Lambert, Bohemian FC Director, said: “We are delighted to unveil this very special shirt today which was made possible by our main club partner, Des Kelly Interiors.
Football is a universal language and it can be a vehicle for great good in our society. At the core of the Bohemian identity is inclusiveness and a desire to utilise football as a means to improve our society as a whole.
“We made the decision to allow our shirt to be used a platform, alongside Amnesty International, to highlight a very real and pressing issue in Ireland today, that of Direct Provision.
“This builds on a deep and lasting relationship we have built with MASI and through multiple engagements with people living in Direct Provision.
“Bohemian FC and their supporters have an incredible track record on social justice issues,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
“We’ve long respected the practical solidarity they’ve shown people seeking asylum and refugees, so this is a fantastic opportunity to bring our supporters together to call for an end to Direct Provision.
“Direct Provision is an ongoing human rights scandal. The system is fundamentally flawed, trapping people for years in limbo and isolating them from communities in inhumane, institutionalised conditions.
“We know there are challenges like the current housing crisis, but this has been going on for 20 years through successive governments. We need a new approach, one that protects people’s human rights. The Direct Provision system is hurting people, especially vulnerable groups like victims of torture, and children and families. So no more excuses. This has to end.”
Lucky Khambule, coordinator for Movement of Asylum Seekers, said: “The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland values the relationship we have built with Bohemian FC over the years. It is encouraging to see the club forge relations with asylum seekers who regularly attend matches and the team opening the stadium for us to use for events.
“We wish to congratulate Bohs on the launch and look forward to more collaboration. We thank the whole Phibsborough community for the continuous support.”
Their League of Ireland campaign begins at Dalymount Park on Saturday, February 15, with a derby clash against Shamrock Rovers.