|Photo: Peter Boehmer|
FC St. Pauli's integrity is often called into question by cynical football fans and media alike. We are accused of being a sell-out; a marketing behemoth, milking the perceived 'coolness' of the skull-and-crossbones brand; a corporate cash-cow. Sure, there's some truth in the commercialism, but don't ever believe that the club has lost its core values or its soul.
Many German supporters' groups have been supportive of the 'Refugees Welcome' movement, many clubs have run programmes encouraging refugees and migrants to attend matches or have established soccer schools for youngsters. FC St. Pauli have expanded on this good work by formally adopting FC Lampedusa – a refugee football team.
FC Lampedusa began playing football in 2012/13, set up to support the "Lampedusa refugees" who arrived in Hamburg after fleeing war in Libya. Since then the team has welcomed all refugees, giving anyone over the age of 16 the chance to play football in a safe, friendly and fun environment (they are also pretty good, as Yorkshire St. Pauli can testify, we lost 10-1 to them in May, and FCL never really had to get out of first gear).
The lack of official 'papers' bars the players of FC Lampedusa from playing in formal league competition in Hamburg, instead the club play in a series of friendlies and tournaments raising awareness about the scale and scope of the refugee crisis.
FC St. Pauli have extended the hand of friendship and support to FC Lampedusa, who will now benefit from practical support in booking pitches and training sessions, supply of kit, logistical support and, of course, raising awareness.
FC Lampedusa has formally become FC Lampedusa St. Pauli – an announcement made in front of over 16,000 fans at the recent pre-season friendly at the Millerntor against Sevilla.
Read more about FC Lampedua St. Pauli here.
|Here's Yorkshire St. Pauli & FC Lampedusa St. Pauli|