It was launched today (26), at the Football Museum, in São Paulo, another edition of the Refugee and Immigrant Cup. The initiative is a social and sporting project of the organization For the Right to Migrate, which aims to “break down prejudice, promote human rights and break down cultural barriers by encouraging the social inclusion of these new citizens in Brazil”. “It’s not just a championship,” said Simon Oxy, a Cameroonian immigrant and a member of the event’s coordination.
In all, 58 teams will be part of the cup, bringing together 1,160 athletes from 48 nationalities. The competition will have seven phases, which will take place simultaneously, starting in September, in seven capitals: Porto Alegre, Curitiba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Recife and Brasília. The winners of the regional phase participate in the national phase to be held in São Paulo in November. The theme of this edition is “Welcoming immigration, Refuge and migration are human rights”.
Oxy explains why football was the modality chosen to promote this integration. “It is a channel, a tool, to be able to connect, an education and awareness tool. The Cup of Refugees and Immigrants is an event, not a championship, and the very objective is the protagonism of immigrants, is to show that immigrants are here, we are workers, we like Brazil”, he said in an interview with National Radio.
Most regional stages take place in September. In Rio de Janeiro, 12 teams will participate in the games on the 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th. In Belo Horizonte, there will be four teams, with disputes on the 9th, 10th and 11th. The eight teams in Curitiba will play on the 6th, 10th and 11. For the eight teams that are in Porto Alegre, the dates are the 24th and 25th. In Brasília, there are six teams that play on the 23rd, 24th and 25th.
Only São Paulo and Recife have games in October. In the capital of São Paulo, there are 16 teams and the matches start on September 3rd. The four teams from Recife play on October 22 and 23.
“All Brazilians are expected to show this welcome that Brazil gives, in an institutional way, but we would like it in person as well. Embrace yourself to break this prejudice. When speaking another language, Brazilians are scared. We are human beings just like everyone else,” Oxy said.
The cup has institutional support from the United Nations agencies for Refugees (UNHCR) and for Migration (IOM). They also receive support from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, through the National Committee for Refugees (Conare) and the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights. State and municipal governments and private companies also support the initiative, which aims to be a space for fraternization for migrant communities.
Data from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, released at the end of 2021, show that, in 10 years, there was a 24.4% increase in the annual number of new immigrants registered in Brazil, with Venezuelan, Haitian and Colombian immigration being the main ones. responsible for the increase.
According to the agency, 1.3 million immigrants reside in Brazil. In 10 years, from 2011 to 2020, the largest flows were from Venezuela, Haiti, Bolivia, Colombia and the United States.
The number of new refugees recognized annually in the country rose from 86 in 2011 to 26,500 in 2020. Requests for recognition of refugee status also increased, from around 1,400 in 2011 to 28, 8 thousand in 2020.
* With information from Eliane Gonçalves, from National Radio
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Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News