The football club "Zagreb 041" was formed in 2014, and formally registered as a citizen's association on February 19th, 2015. Zagreb 041 works and integrates refugees and asylum seekers in Zagreb, Croatia through the uniting power of sport, all the while promoting anti-racist and anti-fascist values and facilitating the integration of these newest members into Croatian society. The club currently has around one hundred members, who are organized in a non-hierarchical, horizontal manner and who participate equally in decision-making and the club's activities. The club has a senior men's team, a senior women's team, as well as a children's team. Players are a combination of Croatian nationals and refugees and asylum seekers. It is also one of only a few clubs in Croatia with a very active women's team.
The goal of Zagreb 041 is to bring football back into the hands of ordinary people and fans, and become the first local community football club with a direct democratic organizational model. The club fights against corruption and clientism at all levels, as well as all forms of discrimination. Their message is that football is a sport of solidarity, quality competition, respect for one’s opponent and the love for a sport so many around the world share.
For the club, promoting the direct engagement of migrants, improving their sense of security and integration is a priority and reflects the values the club wants to see in sport and in society. They believe that the integration of migrants is a two way street so that while migrants are responsible for adapting to the values and norms of their host country, the hosts have a responsibility to welcome, support and offer a helping hand to newcomers in their land.
These practices are in stark contrast to local and regional authorities in Croatia who often neglect to participate in the integration of migrants. Zagreb 041 hopes that it can encourage and inspire local authorities and communities, as well as other sports clubs to actively participate in creating an atmosphere of inclusion for refugees, and a society of inclusion, free of racism and xenophobia- for all.
For more information: http://www.nkzagreb041.hr/seniori/seniorska-momcad-nk-zagreb-041