France Investigation

French football authorities fail to get onside to help young migrants integrate

In the Paris region, western France and the French Alps, local initiatives are springing up to help young migrants, many of them unaccompanied minors, to get involved in football to help them integrate and find their feet in their new country. These projects are similar to a much-larger initiative that began in Germany in 2015 when that country took in nearly one million refugees. But as Mickaël Correia reports, the sport's ruling body in France - the French Football Federation - is doing nothing to help the process.

Mickaël Correia

4 January 2020 à 17h46

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It is a dark November evening and a glacial cold has descended on the sports ground at Bobigny, north-east of Paris. Under the pallid glow of the floodlights, a handful of teenagers are rapidly putting on their boots. Despite the worn state of the synthetic pitch, the young players kick the ball with gusto. The little improvised matches are frequently punctuated by laughter and lively debates about supposed fouls.

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