Afghan refugees in London have been treated to top football match tickets, free team shirts and regular football training sessions by big clubs.
Premier League side Chelsea have joined the Championship’s Fulham and QPR to be part of a campaign to help welcome Afghan refugees to West London.
Refugee families, many of whom were forced to flee the Taliban in Afghanistan last summer, have been put in temporary housing in Hammersmith and Fulham.
They have attended matches at Stamford Bridge, Craven Cottage and the Kiyan Prince Foundation Community Stadium.
READ MORE: Hundreds of Afghan refugees to be stuck in London hotels for a year
Hammersmith Mayor councillor PJ Murphy said: “ Hammersmith and Fulham is a place for all, and it’s been fantastic to introduce our Afghan guests to such an exciting part of borough life and to say thank you for all they did to support our armed forces in Afghanistan. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
“It was wonderful to walk to Loftus Road with them and see how they were welcomed by the fans.
“Thanks to Chelsea, Fulham and QPR for welcoming them into the heart of the borough and hopefully inspiring some new football fans along the way.”
Hammersmith and Fulham’s football clubs have helped refugees in the past. In 2020, Fulham invited refugee children to a special training session with Gary Lineker.
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Some of the borough’s refugees were able to watch Chelsea thump Juventus 4-0 in the Champion’s League last year while others saw Fulham host Cardiff City.
QPR’s charitable arm – QPR in the Community Trust – has provided new training kit for Afghan refugees.
Sweatshirts, training bottoms, football boots and trainers have all been donated by staff members.
The trust has also set up regular training sessions for refugees to attend.
Sessions have also been set up at Westway sports centre by Chelsea and the club has donated hats, gloves, thermals and tracksuit bottoms.