Club | 22/09/2015

Planned actions for Friday

FC stands for refugees welcome

The upcoming 1. FC Köln home match against FC Ingolstadt at the RheinEnergieSTADION will be dedicated to assisting refugees.

Beginning this Tuesday the Cologne/Bonn region has become the new hub for the handling of refugees in North Rhine-Westphalia. At the home match against FC Ingolstadt on Friday, 1. FC Köln intends to promote the importance of values such as welcoming and assisting others, with the help of the 1. FC Köln Foundation and the many partners of the club. About 1,000 refugees from the region have been invited to attend the match. Along with the tickets and fan scarves as a souvenir of the match, our guests will be receiving complimentary food and drinks through our catering partner, ARAMARK.

In consultation with the authorities and aid organizations, who know the needs of the people arriving in Cologne, FC calls on all visitors and fans at the stadium on Friday to play their part in donating to those in need. Urgently needed are  underwear and socks for men, women, and children. Please enter only new, packaged products into the donation containers labeled Johanniter, located outside the North and South stands at the RheinEnergieSTADION. Used items cannot be passed along.

“It is one of the most important values of FC to exemplify tolerance and integration through sport and to support the people who need our help.” - Alexander Wehrle FC intends to send a clear signal on Friday regarding the topic of integration. The children that enter the field with the players prior to kick-off (of which there will also be refugee children) will be wearing T-Shirts flocked with the word “welcome” in numerous languages. The message will be delivered on the LED-Banners in French and Arabic, among other languages, during the FC anthem before the start of the match. To play their part in the matter, main sponsor REWE has agreed to waive their right to display their logo on the FC kit for the match on Friday. In its place the word “Toleranz” (Tolerance) will be displayed on the chest of each player. 

“We want to use this evening to contribute concretely and symbolically to a cosmopolitan Cologne,” said FC Managing Director Alexander Wehrle. “It is one of the most important values of FC to exemplify tolerance and integration through sport and to support the people who need our help.”

1. FC Köln has been actively promoting a culture of welcome since 2013 by supporting the project, “Mentors for Refugees” of the Cologne Refugee Council. The 1. FC Köln Foundation sponsors projects for integration through football and this commitment will continue to expand. The foundation provides, within its capabilities, spontaneous help to those in need. Recently, FC organized an afternoon for the residents of the refugee camp in Chorweiler

Bundling these actions and commitment to the cause around the match against Ingolstadt had been planned for weeks. The Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) has approved the FC request for a special jersey with the message of tolerance. Because 1. FC Köln believes the nationwide message of #refugeeswelcome as well as the solidarity of the Bundesliga clubs and the DFL to be of importance, in addition to the local engagement the decision was made to play with the controversial sleeve badge this past Saturday. 

1. FC Köln deeply regrets that this good and important message was recently overshadowed by the attack of the BILD editor-in-chief against FC St. Pauli on the Twitter platform, leading to a controversy in which many FC fans were critical of the action. The action did not serve the purpose for those intended, whom we support unconditionally. 

With this in mind, FC looks forward to the wonderful support of its fans on Friday. Refugees are always welcome in Cologne and at 1. FC Köln!

The match against FC Ingolstadt takes place on Friday, September 25th. Kick-off to the match is set at 20:30. Tickets can still be purchased here.

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