This Friday 20 June, is World Refugee Day. In over 100 countries around the globe, attention will be focused on the millions of people in the world who had to flee war, violence or persecution.

With the World Cup in Brazil in full swing on this World Refugee Day, ECRE together with UNHCR, the Belgian asylum authorities and leading NGOs working with refugees and asylum seekers in Belgium, are highlighting the plight of the world’s displaced by playing football and cheering for refugees.

Programme of the day:

7:00 – 9:00: Mini-vuvuzelas in Belgian train stations

On Friday June 20, between 7 and 9 AM, some 250 volunteers will distribute mini vuvuzelas (football cheering horns) in 44 Belgian train stations and leaflets highlighting the plight of refugees. People will be encouraged to cheer for refugees during the World Cup.

12:00 – 17:00: A fair mini-football match at Brussels North train station.

Eight randomly mixed teams of four players, composed of refugees, asylum seekers, employees of the asylum authorities and members of the NGO community will  play a tournament of mini football in a temporary  miniature football stadium on the square in front of Brussels North train station (Place Simon Bolivar). The winning team will take home the Fair Play for Refugees Cup.

The first match is expected to start on Friday 20 June at 12 noon at the pitch in front of Brussels North station. The final and cup ceremony should take place around 4 PM. The event will be hosted by TV presenter Lisa Smolders. 

The events will highlight the importance of fair play for those who are seeking refuge from from war, violence and persecution.

The right to seek protection from war, violence and persecution is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in international refugee law. On this day, UNHCR, the Belgian asylum authorities and leading NGOs working with refugees and asylum seekers in Belgium are highlighting the importance of these rights.

Refugees deserve a fair chance to build up their lives in a safe country. They, too, deserve fair play.

All information on the events will be available on, on Facebook and on Twitter.