Dinamo and Croatian Red Cross joining forces
GNK Dinamo and the Croatian Red Cross organised a football event for asylum seekers at Maksimir stadium, as a part of their anti-racism and anti-discrimination programme.
First team players Komnen Andrić and Kevin Theophile-Catherine and B team players Jakov Gogić, Kim Gyuhyeong i Matias Carracedo joined the project, as well as asylum seekers and the Croatian Red Cross football team.
The club invited the Croatian Red Cross to participate in this inclusion project in order to help refugees and asylum seekers settle into the local community. With this initiative, GNK Dinamo are trying to use the power of football to help asylum seekers integrate into society and overcome barriers.
‘We are so grateful the club invited us to join the project. I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to play football with Dinamo players, Croatian champions and a team that has reached the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 this season. We like to watch football, we play football and if somebody said to me ‘’Samih, you will have a chance to play football with Dinamo players’’, I would not believe him’ said Samih, a 22-year-old team captain from Afghanistan.
‘We want to make football accessible for everyone. The main aim of this event was to engage the club with refugees and asylum seekers through football and to give them the opportunity to meet Dinamo players. Football can break barriers and it is a unique tool for fighting against discrimination. We want to help asylum seekers, promote equality and to celebrate diversity. They have a lot of different sporting activities at the Croatian Red Cross Reception centre for asylum seekers but we wanted to welcome them at Maksimir stadium and provide a special football experience for them. This kind of event is the first one in our local community, but hopefully it will be an example to others.’ Iva Cigrovskij, New Media Expert, Public Relations Department
Red Cross staff members together with asylum seekers regularly organise workshops, educational and sporting activities at the Reception centre for asylum seekers. The types of activities include Croatian language courses, educational activities, taking care of the environment, sports activities etc. Check out the video below.
This event was part of the club’s annual programme ‘Equality = The only choice‘. Every season GNK Dinamo organise events for minorities (Romani children, ethnic minorities, asylum seekers), as well as activities for promoting diversities and equality (women’s football, disabled fans, solidarity between generations etc).