The DIALECT project

Disrupting polarIsAtion: buiLding communitiEs of toleranCe through fooTball

Integration of migrants and refugees


ActionAid Hellas (Ccordinator), Ethniko Kentro Koinonikon Erevnon (EKKE), Football Friends, Melissa Network, Oltalom Sportegyesület, Streetfootballworld


European Commission-DG Justice and Consumers


Municipal authorities, Civil society organisations

Objective of the project

We aim at promoting community building, mutual acceptance, respect and solidarity by building a powerful network of adolescents, parents, local sport professionals and football players.

Abstract of the project

The project’s main activities are: conducting interviews and focus groups with migrant and non-migrant adolescents, civil servants, CSO staff and parents; training sport professionals, youth leaders and civil servants on the football3 methodology; creating and training ethnically and gender mixed football teams; organising local matches and international tournaments as well as awareness raising activities for adolescents’ parents. The project adopts the football3 methodology that promotes fair play, equality and teamwork through football.

Context analysis

According to the 2019 FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report, racist harassment and violence is common in the EU but remains largely invisible in official statistics. Moreover, only 15 out of the 28 EU Member States have dedicated action plans and strategies to combat racism and ethnic discrimination. Populist groups and parties have a pivotal role in promoting sentiments of intolerance particularly among young people. Despite the fact that youth interest and participation in politics appear to be low, evidence suggests that they are attracted by populist groups and parties (Heiss, 2017; Krasteva, 2016). According to the 2016 EU Recommendations for the prevention of radicalization leading to extremism, sport interventions can help to reach young people, promote group belonging and a common sense of identity. This is based on the recognition that football communities have historically provided the opportunity for the construction of collective identities (Zaimakis, 2016).

Napoli, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

Atene, Greece




The project involves 5 EU countries: Italy, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and Germany.

Implementation Period

01/01/2020 - 31/12/2022



  • 500 adolescents (12-18 years old) participate in sports activities
  • 50 youth leaders trained as mediators 
  • 20 professionals trained as football coaches  
  • 700 parents of adolescents involved
  • 40 members of local authorities with a focus on educational and sports professionals


  • 4000 adolescents (aged 12-18)
  • 4000 parents
  • 500 civil servants
  • 500 youth leaders
  • 500 football coaches and social workers
  • 2000 members of the general public

Project Strategy


  • Assessment activities (desk research, interviews, focus groups)
  • Capacity building of coaches, mediators and monitors
  • Training of football teams 
  • Organize exhibition matches, local and international tournaments
  • Awareness raising activities for parents


  • 1 Football3 Toolkit revised and developed 
  • Youth leaders, sports and other professionals and local public authorities participated in capacity buiding sessions 
  • 3 exhibition matches, 4 local and 1 international tournaments organised 
  • 1 EU protocol
    of cooperation produced
  • 1 Manual on disrupting polarisation developed
  • 1 Impact assessment report 


  • Youth, sports professionals and local authorities have acquired or improved their skills in designing counter racism and xenophobia actions
  • Improved understanding among migrant and non-migrant adolescents, parents and communities through community building football 


Are you interested in a partnership in the field of Migration?