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Bohemians release new away jersey in partnership with Amnesty International

‘Football is a universal language and it can be a vehicle for great good in our society.’

The club are unveiling the new strip this morning.
The club are unveiling the new strip this morning.

LEAGUE OF IRELAND outfit Bohemian FC have launched their 2020 away jersey, and joined forces with Amnesty International Ireland. 

An iconic image of a family fleeing war takes centre-place on the shirt along with the message “refugees welcome,” as Bohemians and Amnesty come together to call for an end to the Direct Provision [DP] system.

The jersey also features the slogan “Love Football, Hate Racism” on the rear collar.

Bohs will wear it as an alternative to their new home jersey, as Des Kelly Interiors return as the main sponsor, having previously appeared between 2002 and 2011. O’Neills manufacture both kits.

A statement released by Bohs this morning explains how 2020 is the 20th anniversary of the Direct Provision system, and delves deeper into the work the club are doing.

“Bohemian FC supporters and members have been building strong links with people living in Direct Provision for a number of years, to break down the isolation and barriers they face,” it reads. “They have been raising funds to bring large groups of people living in DP to their home games at Dalymount Park. They have also worked with MASI [Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland] on numerous other projects to build relationships with people in DP through football.”

It adds that Amnesty is calling for the Government to end Direct Provision, and to urgently develop an alternative that protects human rights.

The global movement are also calling for the government to ensure meaningful consultations with people who have lived — or are living — in Direct Provision, and the groups that work with them, when creating an alternative approach.

Screenshot 2020-02-12 at 09.18.00 A view of the slogan on the back. Source: Bohemian FC.

“We are delighted to unveil this very special shirt today which was made possible by our main club partner, Des Kelly Interiors,” Bohemian FC Director Daniel Lambert said.

Football is a universal language and it can be a vehicle for great good in our society. At the core of the Bohemian identity is inclusiveness and a desire to utilise football as a means to improve our society as a whole.

“We made the decision to allow our shirt to be used a platform, alongside Amnesty International, to highlight a very real and pressing issue in Ireland today, that of Direct Provision.

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“This builds on a deep and lasting relationship we have built with MASI and through multiple engagements with people living in Direct Provision.”

Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, added:

Bohemian FC and their supporters have an incredible track record on social justice issues. We’ve long respected the practical solidarity they’ve shown people seeking asylum and refugees, so this is a fantastic opportunity to bring our supporters together to call for an end to Direct Provision.

“Direct Provision is an ongoing human rights scandal. The system is fundamentally flawed, trapping people for years in limbo and isolating them from communities in inhumane, institutionalised conditions.

bohs2 Rob Cornwall modelling the new home jersey. Source: Bohemian FC.

“We know there are challenges like the current housing crisis, but this has been going on for 20 years through successive governments. We need a new approach, one that protects people’s human rights. The Direct Provision system is hurting people, especially vulnerable groups like victims of torture, and children and families. So no more excuses. This has to end.”

Co-ordinator for MASI, Lucky Khambule, added comment on their relationship with the club, congratulated them on the launch and expressed gratitude for their collaboration.

“We thank the whole Phibsborough community for the continuous support,” she concluded.

Bohs open their 2020 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season on Saturday, against Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount.

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Emma Duffy

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