June 22 – The top tier league win in Palestine by Markhaz Balatah, a team from the Balata refugee camp, is a timely reminder of what can be achieved through football, as well as what football can achieve.
It is a reminder that is not lost on AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa who this weekend reconfirmed the continental confederation’s commitment to supporting refugee issues and supporting them and enhance their integration into Asian societies.
Marking International Refugee Day, Salman announced that about 37,000 refugees have benefited directly from the social responsibility programmes via the Asian Dream Foundation over the past three years.
“Football possesses the ability to spread hope, and it also has the ability to reach the most needy societies. On World Refugee Day, we are responsible for harnessing football to help, educate and empower people,” he said.
“The Asian Football Confederation, through the Asian Dream Foundation, has had a positive impact on the lives of many refugees, and we are committed to continuing to work with our partners, to take more initiatives to spread goodness and hope to people.”
The Asian Dream Foundation, in co-operation with other international and national agencies, has established programmes in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Palestine, Bangladesh and Malaysia and is currently develop plans for further initiatives.
The AFC highlighted the Rohingya refugee project in Bangladesh as one of its biggest commitments, where it is working with the support of coaches from all over the continent, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the League of England, as well as the Rohingya refugee camp in Malaysia Supported by the High Commissioner for Refugees and the Malaysian Football Federation.
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