Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Dialect News

Join the online Final Conference “Football for ALL” that is being carried out within the framework of DIALECT project and
is organized by ActionAid Hellas on Monday | 21 of March 2022 | 13:30 – 16:30 (CET).

Through DIALECT (Disrupting polarIsAtion: buiLding communitiEs of toleranCe through fooTball) project partners in five European countries, ActionAid and EKKE-National Center of Social Research in Greece, ActionAid in Italy, Otlalom Sport Association in Hungary, Football Friends in Serbia, Streetfootballworld in Germany and Melissa Network in Greece, created a collaboration network
promoting football in a different way, spreading the message of “Football for All: making extreme discourses irrelevant” and
disseminating the principles of equality and active citizenship.

The Conference is addressed to:
•Sports Associations & Professionals
•Municipal and Public Authorities
•Youth leaders

The event is open with preregistration.


Dialect News

In the context of the DIALECT – Disrupting Polarisation: Building Communities of Tolerance Through Football – project seven organisations from five countries have teamed up to build more inclusive communities across Europe using football as a tool.

The DIALECT toolkit is the result of this collaboration and has been realised with funds from the European Commission. It is addressed to non-profit organisations, schools, sport clubs and neighbourhood clubs, who wish to use football as a tool to combat racism, xenophobia and exclusion by training trainers and mediators in the football3 methodology.


The publication is based on a study on racism, populism and hate speech in the four countries of project implementation: Greece, Hungary, Italy and Serbia. It complements the existing publications on football3 – the football3 handbook and trainer manual, which can be found at – by pointing out how to use football3 specifically to foster key life skills and address social topics that are crucial for creating communities of tolerance and belonging.


Find the TOOLKIT here


Dialect News

Autumn finds the local Tournament in Athens to be carried on and more than 80 adolescents to have the opportunity to get familiar with the innovative methodology of football3.  Adolescents participating in DIALECT project, day by day are even more enthusiastic with the alternative way of playing football. 


Friendly matches with local sports associations are frequently being organized and adolescents have the chance to come together with other peers and cooperate on the field. 


Visits from parents are also taking place in order for them to get to know better the methodology and the way their kids are playing football.  


Local Tournament will be officially completed in the end of November but the already existing team will continue the trainings with their coaches.  The International Tournament is ahead us and football3 is here to stay.



Dialect News

At the end of September, after the restrictions, we finally managed to meet in person for a 2-day international meeting. In addition to the discussions, the partners also took part in a training session with the players of the Oltalom Sport Association.

Exhibition match where parents not only watched the kids, but they did the warm-up together and took part in a mini-championship that day with a team. It was good to see hungarian and refugee parents overcome language barriers together with the language of football. We also played a game together, parents, relatives, and kids, where everybody could experience how does it feel to be part of and to be out of the majority.

Week by week the kids were getting more familiar with the concept of fairplay, and the importance of listening to each other. Thanks to that the games were becoming more friendly and fun.

The children’s mentality and mindset showed the spirit of fairplay. The 8-person team of the Oltalom Sport Association, who participated in the Dialect Championship, also won the Euopen Life Goals Cup.

We took our fairplay knowledge to an international level. With a mixed team of girls and boys from the Dialect Championship we won the fairplay cup at Vienna Street Soccer championship, organised by the Brandenburgische Sportjugend.


Dialect News

This summer we spent on playing football3. More than hundred youngsters have been playing football3 in Belgrade since June, as a part of the Dialect project. Football Friends started a football3 season on 15 June, when an exhibition match for parents was organised. This event was a great opportunity for parents to get acquainted with the project and football3, as a tool that connects the development of fair play, acceptance and tolerance with playing football, which their children especially enjoy. After the Exhibition match, 10 introductory sessions were organised, so all of the participants got familiar with football3 methodology. Sessions were held on two locations – on the playground of local primary school and on the court of a public resort. With the help of the mediators, players developed various social skills, but also great friendships.

“I like to play football, but what I really enjoyed during these sessions was the discussion about the rules and points and the feeling of respect that I don’t experience very often when I play football with my peers.“ – Marko, 13

Beside those introductory sessions, Football friends started with the local tournament sessions which final round will be organised in November.



Dialect News

During April, all capacity building activities taken place in Greece, Hungary, Serbia and Italy were completed. In total, 8 training seminars addressed to football coaches and mediators & 4 training seminars addressed to civil servants were organized. Key stakeholders have been assembled and equipped with differentiated capacities and skills, in order to prevent and combat the spread of intolerance, with a focus on xenophobia, through football.


24 coaches and 51 mediators, both adults and adolescents, from all 4 countries, had the opportunity to be trained on football3 methodology, to discuss on fair play and identify the context, needs, challenges and possible solutions for their communities. During seminars, the coaches and mediators who will soon implement trainings, matches and tournaments, had the chance to meet each other and explore ways to successfully implement football3 methodology to youngsters.


As far as the capacity building activities addressed to civil servants are concerned, 39 representatives from local and public authorities participated in total. Through these encounters, opportunities for networking among local authorities were developed and existing cooperation was strengthened.

These agents of change are now ready to promote a shared understanding on preventing intolerance at community level. The capacity building actions have set the grounds for the implementation phase and the creation of impact in the targeted communities.


Dialect News

As Covid lockdown eased during the summer in Hungary, Oltalom Sport Association (OSA) could finally make face to face contacts with the participants of Dialect research target groups. During June-July OSA conducted 4 focus group discussions. A total of 24 people participated in the group discussions representing local authorities, civil society organisations and experts from the social and educational fields.

We focused on the organisations’ awareness of all issues linked to access to sport, the causes of exclusion and discrimination, and particularly on the role of football in adolescents’ life.


Based on results professionals (municipalities, NGOs, teachers and social workers) think that disadvantaged youth get access to sports through school and NGOs like Oltalom Sport Association. Girls’ participation in football is usually not encouraged and many times not accepted even at school. In case of migrant/refugee children football is not widely practiced before arriving to Hungary (depending on the place of origin), and migrant girls are often excluded – for religious reasons – from playing football.

Based on results, football in diverse teams, among others, has a strong integrating potential. Research also cleared up that football can particularly teach disadvantaged children how to live among rules, how to work in group and how to accept others more. Responded professionals all agreed that there is no political intention for the inclusion of disadvantaged children into club football in Hungary.

Based on their experiences, migrant/refugee children often face exclusion, jealousy, and long certification process to football clubs in professional football. Other non-migrant disadvantaged children usually drop out, as official football clubs are less tolerant e.g. regarding absence. Professionals are aware of the role extreme political groups play in football hooliganism in Hungary. However they cannot share evidences about their influence in youth football. Professionals agree that creating accepting community is one of the most important elements of equipping youth against discrimination. Neither involved municipalities nor NGOs have heard about Football3 before, but they all agree that f3 is an innovative method for reducing discrimination and strengthening acceptance.


Beside focus group discussions, OSA conducted 20 in-depth interviews with adolescents (10 adolescents with a migrant background, and 10 adolescents with a non migrant background) as part of the fieldwork of Dialect research phase. All interviews were conducted in Hungarian, and most of them took place at OSA’s regular open air football training.

Interviews cleared up that migrant and non-migrant youth in the sample are usually not attracted to Hungarian football clubs. All of them disapprove of the extreme behavior of football fans. Interviewed adolescents do not know anyone in person who belongs to such extreme circle, and none of them watch matches live anymore as violence became common at Hungarian pitches. Based on adolescents’ testimonies it seems that children’s attitudes about migrants and other disadvantaged groups (including Roma) depend on their family belief which is often fed by governmental propaganda. If parents think that it is right to be afraid of migrant/Roma people then children will find foreigners/Roma scary. Though respondent migrant youth living in Hungary for a long time do not identify themselves with migrants of the anti-migrant propaganda, more than half of them could recall stories of discrimination happened to them at school. Interviewed youth would not discriminate anyone because of origin or poorer football skills. Most of them think that their football community is accepting, but their friend’s circle is usually more excluding and judgmental.


Dialect News

The previous month all entities taking part in Dialect project (organizations from Greece, Italy, Hungary, Serbia, and Germany) met online to discuss on the projects progress, results, and next steps.

Throughout the two-day meetings the main results of all countries research, led by the National Centre of Social Research (EKKE), were discussed.

Among those the most important were that youths are highly vulnerable and susceptible to populist parties’ campaigns, which tend to simplify complex realities, disseminate political cynicism and increase racial stereotypes. ​Moreover, there is a need for powerful and innovative tools for community building within the space of social and political polarization. ​ Sports in general and football provide opportunities to developing such tools. ​

Research results underlined football’s positive impact on young people’s sense of self, and appreciation for and engagement with peers from diverse backgrounds. Research has also revealed unanticipated connections between participation in football activities and learning foreign languages, positive engagement with school, and building self-confidence.

On the other hand, strong persistence of prejudices towards players, referees, coaches or managers was noticed. In addition to the problem of gender-based discrimination. Racism in football in all partner countries was noticed to have cultural roots. Making clear that the weapon to combat racism cannot only be repression, but intervention from a cultural and educational point of view. 

In all four countries aspects of racism, intolerance and xenophobia promoted against the acceptance of “otherness” and multiculturalism at community level, were identified and witnessed. These affect not only migrants and women but, all kinds of ‘different others’.

Within this framework, and since young people are extremely attracted by football and shaped by values surrounding it, Dialect seems to be on the right track to set the grounds for changes in the sport. What means, creating and promoting a more viable football form, where we could play all together being open and solidary. And in this way, also shaping our communities in similar basis.


Dialect News

Despite the Covid-19 situation and relative precautional measures, ActionAid Italy managed to organise three DIALECT focus groups in September, in Naples. We met and discussed with representatives of local authorities and institutions, of NGOs and with parents.

The first meeting took place with the patronage and presence of Ciro Borriello – the Naples City Councillor for Sport – and other local and sport authorities’ representatives, including FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio) and CSAIN (Centri Sportivi Aziendali e Industriali). We focused on the institutions’ awareness of all issues linked to access to sport, the causes of exclusion and discrimination. More in detail, we analysed structural shortcomings and the limits of intervention by institutional agencies on the spread of feelings of intolerance and hate speech.

In the headquarter of Dream Team Association, a women’s football team from Scampia – north suburbs of Naples – we discussed with NGOs’ local operators and experts on human rights and protection of migrants about associations’ limits in building intervention networks with other metropolitan areas, the challenges to tackle institutional authorities’ indifference, and the issue of sport’s exploitation for spreading hate speech and narratives. Through the ActionAid’s Reflection-Action methodology “Chapati Diagram” and group work, we structured a path to identify relevant actors and actions to be implemented.

A third focus group was addressed to the parents of the adolescents participating in the DIALECT project. We had six participants – both in presence and online – among Neapolitans and parents with a migrant background. We discussed the issue of access to sport: the exclusion for the weakest section of the population, the lack of inclusive capacity by federal authorities of migrant youth in sports and of cultural intervention on women’s football promotion.

Finally, we had the chance to interview ten adolescents with a migrant background and ten Neapolitan adolescents. We were impressed by their maturity and independence in their personal and sport life:

“If I hear my dad – said Manuel (12 yo) – calling a player ‘nigger’, I’ll think at least for one second that he can be right, even if I rationally know that he isn’t”.

What have we learned so far?

The world of children, centred on sports activities, is basically extraneous to discriminatory behaviours and episodes. However, the influence of adults – those seen on television and those who surround them daily – is decisive to drag them into a negative vortex from which many will not succeed to go out.

Focus groups cleared up the awareness that sport can be fundamental for building the consciences of the youngest, contributing to the establishment of a system of values, based on the respect for others, the community and sharing. Nonetheless, the occurring of discrimination episodes and the lack of actors able to lead youth towards a sport and personal virtuous path let sport become an outlet for socioeconomic and ethnic exclusion.