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Tuesday 07 May 2024
Football For All campaign celebrated

The Irish FA Foundation has hosted a celebration, reflection and look to the future of Football For All.

Initiated in 2000 by the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters’ Clubs and the Irish FA, Football For All encourages positive, inclusive fan behaviour and upstander interventions against discrimination of any kind, including the famous ‘Sea of Green’ campaign at international matches.

The celebration was held at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park as part of the ‘Football v Sectarianism’ programme supported by The Executive Office Together Building a United Community Central Good Relations Fund.

The ‘Football For All 2025’ event reflected on the courage, leadership and creativity of the original Football For All campaign.

It also showcased the significant impact of the ongoing work of the restructured Irish FA Foundation to advance youth football, women’s and girls’ football, disability football, newcomer and ethnic minority football and ground-breaking community relations and engagement programmes.

The event was attended by representatives of the AONISC, the Irish FA, football clubs, charities, PSNI, universities, Multi-Ethnic Sports and Cultures NI and political parties, and it included two informative and interactive panel discussions.

Irish FA Foundation Development Manager Keith Gibson said: “The partnership between fans and the Irish FA is key to the success of Football For All.

“At its heart Football For All is about ensuring everyone has the opportunity to play football and experience the benefits of being involved in football.”

AONISC chairperson Gary McAllister said Northern Ireland fans are proud of what has been achieved through Football For All and the recognition fans have received at the highest international level, including the Brussels International Supporters Award in 2006.

“We have established an inclusive atmosphere at Northern Ireland games and made it welcoming for everyone to support Northern Ireland,” he pointed out.

Healing Through Remembering Director and Northern Ireland supporter Cate Turner said: “The Football For All campaign allows us to be proper football fans.

“It built the foundation for the Paris Medal award-winning behaviour of Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans at UEFA Euro 2016 and is more than just a strapline. It is everything the Irish FA does.”

Main image: At the Football For All celebration event were: Keith Gibson (Irish FA Foundation), Gary McAllister (Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters’ Clubs), Ulster University’s Duncan Morrow and Healing Through Remembering Director Cate Turner.