About the project
Welcome to the Liberté Cup
At its peak over 9000 refugees were living in the Calais Jungle with low morale and little hope. But there’s one thing that let them forget everything and helped us to tell their stories. The universal language of football.
The Liberté Cup is a tournament, a signal of solidarity for refugees. It’s not a political campaign, it’s not a charity and we’re not asking to open borders. The aim is simple. To change the way refugees are viewed in the media. They don’t need your pity, they want your support so forget the politics and let’s play.
About the project
After gaining support from different companies and laying down plans for a tournament, The Liberté Cup had begun. Refugee players were trained up by Guissepe Bianco, a local coach who got on board and prepared them for the day of the tournament.
As the day drew closer, support came in from pro players like Lionel Messi bringing media coverage across the world. Teams and supporters travelled far and wide to take part in an epic day of football that resulted in a close win to F.U.R.D after a penalty shootout. It was a story that changed minds and laid the foundations for a campaign that will continue to break down barriers.
Watch the Film
The first tournament was funded by ITV and a documentary about it was aired on ITV hub.
My name is Giuseppe, I am a sports coach here in Dunkirk. I wasn’t such a good player, but I have a big heart. Football enables everyone to express themselves in a secure context. For me the most important thing is that they respect each other and there’s no conflict. They’ve already had enough of it and deserve not to see more of it here.
REFUGEE / GRANDE SYNTHE F.C.
Since my childhood I have been chasing the football. I love football very much and wherever i’ll end up, 100 percent, no difference, I will be chasing the football. First the coach saw us in the camp, he said he wanted to see my game. I don’t know about closing the camps, and I don’t know what lies ahead of me, but we are sitting in patience. We have no remedy. No passage.
REFUGEE / FREEDOM UNITED F.C.
The days we have football games are defined. When you play you feel happy, you feel serene, you would forgive people. The future is not apparent in here because people keep coming and going everyday.
Meet the teams
Freedom United F.C.
Freedom United is a team made up of refugees for The Liberte Cub. The team still exists in Greece with an entirely new squad.
Created in January 2012, Les Dégommeuses has two main objectives: the promotion of women’s football and the fight against sexism, LGBT-phobias and all forms of discrimination.
Football Unites Racism Divides is a youth project and charity based in Sheffield which works locally, nationally and internationally to combat racism and increase understanding between different communities.
Dulwich Hamlets F.C.
Dulwich Hamlet Football Club based in the London Borough of Southwark in England. The club are currently members of the Premier Division of the Isthmian League, and play at Champion Hill.
The Bohemians founded in 1890, are the oldest football club in Dublin. The furthest anybody travelled to make it to the Liberte Cup.
Hackney Wick FC
Hackney Wick Football Club is based in London. They are currently members of the Essex Senior League and play at Clapton’s Old Spotted Dog Ground.
Clapton is an east London community based club established in 1878. Members of their support group the Clapton Ultras took part in The Liberte Cup.
Last edition 2016
Lionel Messi’s support brought the campaign worldwide coverage, mainly in Argentina and Spain.Read more
Stoke City player Bojan Krkic got in on the action spreading the word to his fanbase.Read more
LAUREN ETAME MAYER
One of the Arsenal invincibles Lauren Etame Mayer posted to his supporters about the tournament.Read more
A FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT TO CHANGE THE MEDIA IMAGE OF REFUGEES
This Saturday, the French suburb of Grande-Synthe in Dunkerque will host a very unique competition that aims to show on the field of play that we are all the same.Read more
THE LIBERTÉ CUP BY BIGBALLS MEDIA
A global football fans network, has united with charity and media partners in a force of solidarity to support refugees.Read more
The Documentary That Shows How Football Can Unite the World
We’re all used to seeing desperate footage of refugees trapped in camps, freezing, starving.Read more
Este fin de semana se disputa en Grande-Synthe, Francia, la primera edición de la Liberté Cup, un torneo de fútbol ideado para dar visibilidad y voz a los refugiadosRead more
Alfons Valls, Julen Saenz, Phil Haynes, Aryven Arasen, Joe Watson, Gui Guimaraes, Edorta Ramirez, Mikel Tuesta, Marcelo Mendez, Copa 90 & Bigballs media, Fuze Beyond Borders, The Worldwide Tribe, ITV hub, Football supporters Europe, Fare network, Bullion productions, Pablo Lozano, Edorta Ramirez, Thomas Turgoose, Rory O’Donnell, Margot Tiounine, Hishyar Adid, Tim Longbottom, Claire McGonigal, Mike Radforth, Matt Gabzdyl, Laura Harris, Kurt Riddell, Ben Taylor, Tom Mallion, Sophie Falkner, Daniel Mansaray, Nabil Bellahsene, Alan White, Guiseppe Bianco, Damian Carame, Jayden Mitchelle- Brown, Lewis Kenny, Martino Simcik, David Vujanic, Poet, Vicki Banwell, Gav Rowe, Emily Brancher, James Willis, Patch Rowland, Fred Pearson, Deborah Whitfield.