Football3 is a fair play football methodology used by over 70 organizations on all continents
For the first time in Bihać, with the support of UEFA, boys and girls from refugee families, asylum seekers, and migrant families, as well as from local football clubs and marginalized groups, their teachers and parents, this weekend learned the Football3 method of playing football without referees.
Organized by UNHCR and the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (NSBiH), and with the support of UEFA, as part of the project Social integration through football “Football3 as a method of social change”, a series of activities related to Football3 method, including education for coaches of children’s football clubs and physical education teachers from primary and secondary schools, education for children’s parents, guardians and other people who work with children, as well as workshops and sports activities with 80 children from local football clubs and marginalized groups (refugee children and children from migrant families residing in the City of Bihać and TRC Borići, Day Center for Children at Risk, children from the Roma community, etc.).
“Football3 is a fair play football methodology used by over 70 organizations on all continents, which teaches children tolerance and acceptance of diversity,” said Vahidin Ogrešević, Head of the UNHCR Field Office in Bihać.
Within this methodology, players meet, form teams, agree on rules and play football. Dialogue and fair play are an integral part of the game. Football3 can be played by anyone, anywhere and can be used to address any social issue. There are no judges. Instead, mediators facilitate conversations between the two teams and monitor the game.
“The basis of this project was to include in some way marginalized categories such as children from refugee and migrant families, but also children from more socially vulnerable categories, together with other children from football clubs from these areas,” said Alija Porča, representative of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“These are all our children, regardless of whether we are talking about children who are originally from the city of Bihać or children who somehow came to the city of Bihać due to circumstances. They are all our children. Through projects like this, a message is sent that we want to support all children, and not only in sports activities, but also that in this way they socialize and make new friends,” said Elvedin Sedić, the Mayor of Bihać.
Named after its “three halves” (pre-match workshop, football match and post-match discussion), the Football3 method incorporates key life lessons into every game. It is ideal when playing in mixed teams of boys and girls, and the players collectively decide on the rules before the game. After the game, they discuss their behaviour and that of their opponents, with points for goals as well as fair play.