Type of activity: Multicultural football league played in a sport centre.

Target group: Ethnic minorities, migrants, refugees and women.

Topic addressed: Social inclusion, gender equality, mutual help, tolerance.

Values created: Culture exchange, solidarity, dialogue.

Project impact: Etnoliga is a long-term social programme since 2005 that is based on the activation of diverse communities through football.

It brings together different people and confront them with other communities and atypical pairings and methods.

Hundreds of people have met and found common interest with strangers. It efficiently breaks down stereotypes be it about gender, religion or origin.Kazan is known for its reputation of interethnic and religious harmony. During the Confederations Cup in 2017 we walked around the centre with an African Muslim who wore a hijab and an abaya dress, she received smiles and welcome glances throughout.

The city was shocked by the brutal murder of a student from Chad in February 2017. The perpetrator confessed during the investigation that he was part of a neo-Nazi gang attacking ethnic minorities and one of the places where he radicalised himself and recruited members of the gang was the football stadium.

Project description

Etnoliga is a regular football integration project of Warsaw-based Fundacja dla
Wolności and the only of its kind in Poland.

Over 300 people compete in the tournament that last up to 10 weeks. The
leagues run twice a year, with the games played on Sundays with morning
and afternoon sessions.

The 20 teams are split into two groups in a round-robin format. The top
8 teams advance to the finals as the tournament changes format into a
knockout stage.

The top right teams advance to the finals as the tournament changes format
into a knockout stage.

Throughout its stages, each team makes presentations - topics at a choice
- aimed at increasing cultural awareness, break down stereotypes, promote
exchanges, etc.

Solidarity action are organised around national and international days such
as, World Refugee Day, International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination or the Schuman Parade.

The project is free of charge.

Main outputs

  • Connect and activitate diverse communities through sport
  • Facilitate social inclusion
  • Break down stereotypes be it around gender, religion or origin

About Fundacja dla Wolności

Fundacja dla Wolności is a civil society association which works to promote an equal society and the social inclusion of ethnic minorities and socially excluded groups through the respect of the principals of freedom of expression, access to information and to education.

Sport is used by the association as tool to engage different communities and promote cultural exchanges.

Krzysztof Jarymowicz, Etnoliga coordinator:

“We organised our first cross-cultural tournament in 2005 and in 2010 – due to growing interest – we transformed it into a league. Such initiatives, are pivotal today to establish free paths of communication and interchange between communities.”