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Support for local teams

As a community-based project one of Football Unites’ key tasks is to help and support ethnic minority footballers to progress as players, coaches, referees and administrators. For any young person, organising yourself in order to enter a team in affiliated leagues, and to fulfil all the duties required, can be a daunting prospect.

The costs involved – kit, pitch hire, training venue, referees, balls, nets, washing kit, transport, league and FA affiliation fees, insurance, medical supplies, coaches, as well as personal items such as boots and shinpads -  can be prohibitive and enough discouragement alone to teams participating in organised leagues.

When a group of players approaches Football Unites for help in setting up a team, we go through all the factors that need to be considered, in addition to the costs involved. We may offer to provide short-term financial and administrative support – such as affiliation and league fees, lending a kit, locating a suitable pitch – whilst the team works out how to raise the necessary funds. For example, we have helped several teams to successfully apply for Awards For All lottery grants.

Football Unites has helped a number of teams to present their cases at FA disciplinary hearings, following from what they have perceived to be racist actions by opposing players, spectators or referees. In addition we have negotiated with the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA to allow Football Unites staff to sit as observers during personal hearings.

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