By Jehan Sheikh
WHITEHAWK FC welcomed eight refugees to the stands during the teams FA trophy match against St Albans City FC.
Fan group the Whitehawk Ultras had the visitors dancing to the chants and singing their traditional songs by half time, at the match on Saturday, November 25.
Ruairi King, a 23-year-old said: “This is what football is about here at Whitehawk.
“Everyone should be able to watch a match and feel comfortable, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and class.”
The group visited Brighton from Bradford for a conference at the Amex Stadium on how football can help refugees
Afshir Sheikhi, a refugee from Iran said: “The game was wonderful and people over here were so kind to us.
“I really felt welcomed to the team and every one from Whitehawk accepted me as their own member.”
Whitehawk chants include “Football is for all” and racism, sexism, homophobia- we say no”, reflect fans open attitudes.
Daniela Conti, the 45-year-old vice president of Liberi Nantes, a third division Italian football composed of refugees and asylum seekers said: “I really enjoyed the chants because they do a lot of anti-racist chants and its fantastic to be in a stadium and feel welcomed.”
The match ended as a 1-1 draw. Whitehawk won the rematch and face Weymouth in the next round on December 10.