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One Saturday in October. Scenes of a – forced – farewell.

Hamburg Bus Port, the central coach station of the “Free“ and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Gateway to the world. An elderly woman watches the happenings around her, she’s been doing it for two hours already. Whenever the group moves, she does too, like a shadow. She tries to figure out what’s going on and who exactly this group of people might be. She doesn’t ask any questions.
Other passengers did that already. So she could obtain some information “Oh, a football team? Lovely! Where are you going?” the cruise passengers queuing up for their bus ask.

Well, we, our WE that is, is going nowhere today. Sadly!
Certainly, we would prefer to go elsewhere, too – playing a friendly match or a tournament with friends, for instance. “We have to say goodbye to two of our players again, because two of our brothers and their families were ordered to leave the country!” one of our players explains. “Oh no, that’s terrible“, one lady says while another one asks “Why?”. So the players of FC Lampedusa St. Pauli tell the waiting people the story of the past two years: a story of hoping and waiting, of panic and the permanent fear of the police coming for them in the middle of the night – as happened to another one of our fellow players and his family – even though their legal advisor told them that there was nothing to worry about.
The people around become aware that it’s not easy subject for the players to talk about. Their eyes show fear, the fear of possibly being the next. Many of the waiting tourists have children themselves, kids of the same age. It is the autumn holidays in Hamburg. People leave the city for a quick break from the grey rainy sky, to “catch some rays“and for some lazy days on deck of a cruise ship. Having some days away from stress at school and the pressure to gain good marks.

The two boys and their three younger siblings, together with their single mom, being ordered to leave Hamburg and their football family would be all too happy if they could swap places with the other kids, including the stress and pressure. Instead, they have to leave, to go ‘OUT’, right in the middle of the school year, right in the middle of the holidays. Without having the chance to say goodbye to their friends and teachers and without getting given their school reports, which would be the prerequisite to attend school in their so called “safe country of origin” – assuming that you have the necessary funds and you’re not a member of an ethnic minority.

More and more players arrive at the bus station, to greet their ‘bros’ and if you didn’t know the actual reason for this gathering, you would easily think it was part of an ordinary weekend in the life of FC Lampedusa St. Pauli.

They now all sign a brand new ball which is passed on quietly and without touching the ground. After all, it should not get dirty. The German dirt should be left where it is, one of the players says roughly. It’s a distraction, to have the feeling of togetherness in these hard times.

At least, the sun shines. At “home”, which the older ones only call “back there” and of which the younger siblings have absolutely no idea of, winter is near already. The day before they had to quickly buy new winter jackets, says R., the friendly retiree, who was looking after the family over the past two years, so warm-heartedly. It is also him who seeks to talk to the coach company employee in the office, after the drivers from “new old home“ refused to accept their luggage. Two years of living in Hamburg are spread on the platform: one big plastic bag per person. The mothers question about the extra charge she wouldn’t mind paying is not answered. A first impression – to outsiders – about the fate this family is to face in about 21 hours time. It is not even necessary to speak the same language to see and understand how racist and discriminating the future of this Roma family will be.

Meanwhile, the elderly lady still watches the happenings. In a way, she has already become a part of our group of grievers. One of the players and the love of his life have to part, which is amongst the biggest and most heartbreaking drama on this sunny morning. She can stay while he has to get ‘OUT‘. Everything that gave them and their young lives a sort of comfort in this extremely difficult year is now taken away from them. For people at this age nine months – the term of the entry ban applying to the entire family – is a very long time. They’re still too young to marry; otherwise, it would have been way more difficult to tear this young couple apart.  

While the team is still talking insistently to the coach drivers, tears burst out of people again and again. R., the good old soul, returns with the positive info that the luggage may finally be loaded for an extra charge. Everyone gives a hand to stow the bags in the most space-saving way. The FC Lampedusa St. Pauli players get into the coach’s luggage compartment, packing and piling bags and cases. After all, there’ll be more people getting on board during the long journey. Perhaps some of them sharing a similar fate.

While we’re all crying and taking pictures with the, newly sympathetic, almost befriended coach drivers, the elderly lady wonders if the starting point for that man, who took care of everything so warmheartedly, was a situation similar to the one she has just witnessed in this bus station on this Saturday in October. Maybe she wonders if she too should look for a family, and support them?
This, we do not know. But what we do know is that we cannot and do not want to emotionally endure weekends like this ever again.

This is why we keep on going, raise awareness, pool more strength and – with our football family – to play our part in creating a better world where everyone finds him or her self-a place to live, that they have chosen. A world where all people can live everywhere they want to, where they feel home, where they can be whatever they are and where it absolutely does not matter in which corner of this one world they and/or their parents were born. 
All stay – where they want!
here to play – here to stay!

All the best, your FC Lampedusa St. Pauli

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FC St. Pauli now has a refugees’ football team: the FC Lampedusa Hamburg!

Photo by Peter Boehmer
Kick-off for “St. Paulinge”*
FC St. Pauli now has a refugees’ football team: the FC Lampedusa Hamburg!
The connection that has existed for a long time on an informal basis is now official!
After two and a half years of cordial cooperation, the Hamburg based football clubs FC St. Pauli and FC Lampedusa have decided to amalgamate on both a sporting and socio-political footing. This has just been mutually agreed between the Coaching Crew of FC Lampedusa Hamburg and the board of the German second division club, FC St. Pauli. The agreement brings together what belongs together anyway. For a very long time, the framework, in which long-term and sustainable support for refugees could be realised, had been the subject of cross-party discussions within FC St. Pauli. For FC Lampedusa Hamburg, it is fortunate that a club like FCSP holds its shielding hands over the refugees’ team, not only supporting them in sporting terms by, among other things, the permission to use FCSP-pitches and the provision equipment, but also by standing behind the political work of the refugees’ club.
The FCL Coaching Crew – all of them women – have long-standing connections with FCSP. As a result, the ‘amalgamation’ of both clubs was regarded natural by fans, activists and the public. Over the last 25 years, nearly the entire FCL Coaching Crew has worked in building up and developing the FCSPs women’s and girls’ football department. For these ladies, persevering to create and establish ‘honest’ football for all from most simple structures and conditions – against the odds – is all nothing new: in fact, they achieved it before! 
This amalgamation further confirms FC St. Pauli’s position as an anti-racist club and shows that it stands for much more than just professional football. Together, both clubs want to give refugees and migrants living in Hamburg the opportunity to play football regardless of passports, documents, origins, religion, residence permits or duration or stay or even footballing ability – everyone is welcome! Furthermore, FC Lampedusa Hamburg demands a general right to stay – for all! Football shall be open for all people.
With this partnership, a clear sign against “fortress Europe” is sent out. However, despite now being a part of FC St. Pauli, FC Lampedusa Hamburg will remain a self-organised football club. It will be supported by FCSP through the provision of facilities and equipment and considers itself as the official FC St. Pauli ‘refugee-team’. To underline this, FC Lampedusa has now been renamed “FC Lampedusa St. Pauli”.
St. Pauli, the district where it all began, with the FC St. Pauli as the heart of it, is now not just the sporting home of the FCL Coaching Crew, it is also the new home for all current and future players of FC Lampedusa St. Pauli.
Refugees become “St. Paulinge”*! Here to Play – Here to Stay!
Refugees Welcome!
Playing Football is Everybody’s Right!
The term St. Paulinge” is a pun in German. It is a synthesis of “St. Pauli” and “Flüchtlinge”, the German word for refugees.
It’s nice because it shows on one hand that the refugees arrived at St. Pauli and on the other hand it’s uniting people because even the home-growns are “St. Paulinge”.

FC Lampedusa St.Pauli
Facebook: FCLampedusa
Twitter: @FCLampedusaHH

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FC Lampedusa Hamburg No Border Tour 2016

8-11.7. FC Lampedusa Hamburg No Border Tour 2016.
Am Freitag, den 8.7. flog der FC Lampedusa Hamburg nach Zürich in die Schweiz um am “Kick ohne Grenzen” des FC Winterthur, der WOZ, der ASZ, des Solinetzwekes und vieler vieler anderer teilzunehmen. Nach einem ruhigen Flug und Grenzüberquerung ohne Turbulenzen kamen wir in Zürich auf dem Flughafen an, wo wir geplant hatten auf einen unserer abgeschobenen Spieler zu warten, der mit einem Direktflug und mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Schweizer Behörden wieder zum Team stoßen sollte um gemeinsam zu spielen und sich wiederzusehen. Er wurde letzte Woche 17 und es war sein Geburtstagsgeschenk. Super-Trauriger-Schlimmer-Ärgerlicher-Weise wurde er von den Grenzschutzbehörden des Landes, in dem er nun wohnen muss an der Ausreise gehindert und sein Pass wurde einbehalten (wer das wohl veranlasst hat, na?) und er konnte seinen Flug nicht antreten, auch wenn die Schweizer Behörden und die Fluggesellschaft alles getan haben um ihm diese Reise zu ermöglichen – Danke dafür – und unser besonderer Dank geht an Jovi, der mit wirklich jedem telefoniert hat, inklusive der Grenzpolizei des Landes am Flughafen dort. – Freedom of Movement ist dringend nötig für Alle! Wie auch immer gings gemütlich mit dem Zug und lokaler Begleitung nach Winterthur, wo Gastgeberin Jule uns schon erwartete. Wir durften das Wochenende in dem besetzten Haus Gisi wohnen, wo es wirklich alles gibt, was man im Urlaub so braucht, Terassen, Essen satt, Getränke, Hunde…

8.-11.7. FC Lampedusa Hamburg No Border Tour 2016
On friday the 8.7. the FC Lampedusa Hamburg flew over to Zurich / Switzerland to join the “Kick ohne Grenzen” of the FC Winterthur, the WOZ, the ASZ, the Solinetz and many many more.
After easy travel and border crossing without any turbulences we arrived at Zurich airport. There we planed to wait for one of our deported players, who turned 17 a week before, who should come directly and alone by plane to join us and play with us together again! Unfortunately, he was prevented by the border control authorities of the country where he has to live now at the departure (take that and think what you want) and was unable to take his flight. Even the swiss authorities and the airline give their best to make this reunion happen – thanks for that – and a special, thank you so much, to Jovi, who phoned with nearly everybody including the border patrol officer down there. So Freedom of Movement is deeply needed for everybody!
Anyway we had a nice trip to Winterthur by train and was picked up by our wonderful host Jule from the squattetd house Gisi, “Freiräume erkämpfen”, where we was allowed to stay for the weekend, with kitchen terrace, roof terrace and everything to be lucky. Food, dogs, drinks etc…..

Saturday 9.7. FC Lampedusa Hamburg No Border Tour 2016
“Kick ohne Grenzen” beim FC Winterthur in der Schweiz
Ein super, sonniger, spitzenmässiger, all unseren tollen Freund_innen von den verschiedenen Initiativen, Autonomen Schulen, Solinetzwerken, “Bewohnern” von Durchgangs-Zentren., Fussballfans und unseren neuen Brüdern vom FC Vicha 16 aus Bulgarien,. Alles gewonnen ausser gegen unsere Buddies den Solikickern Frauenfeld und ganz knapp im Achtelfinale ausgeschieden gegen den späteren Turniersieger von Roger Mila. Dann mal ein paar Drinks und lecker Food im Stadion genossen und mit dem FC Vicha 16 noch am Kicker und im Hof der Gisi gechillt. Danke Euch Allen, die uns das ermöglicht haben

saturday 9.7. Lampedusa Hamburg No Border Tour 2016
“Kick without Borders” at FC Winterthur in Swizerland. A super, sunny, special day with all our friends from the different initiatives, autonoumes schools, solidarity networks, many people who have to live in the different reception centres, football fans and our new brothers from FC Vicha 16 from Bulgaria. Nearly all matches we won without vs our buddies the Solikickers Frauenfeld and we lost the out of 16 unfortunatly vs the later winner of the tournament Roger Mila. After a few drinks and food in the stadion we going “home” to the Gisi for table football and backyard chill out with FC Vicha 16. Thanks everybody so much, who made all that happen.

Sonntag 10.7. FC Lampedusa Hamburg No Border Tour 2016
Hochsommer in Zürich / CH gefühlte 35 Grad, pralle Sonne: Freundschaftsspiel mit unseren noch etwas jüngeren Brüdern aus Zürich auf der Pflanzschulwiese, Mikkas Züri Youth United vs FC Lampedusa Hamburg 5:5. Im Penaltyschissen konnten sich die jungen “Eidgenossen” dann endgültig durchsetzten. Gratulation Jungs. Der FC L-HH Kreuzbandriss des Vortages machte den CR7 und Katrin spendierte 58! Glace ( Speiseeis). Dann Alle schnell, noch im Trikot, zur Vorbereitung des FC Lampedusa BBQs in die Totalbar, schnibbeln, zündeln, grillen, futtern und wie man hier sagt Euro Final gucken. Gratulation Portugal – gut gemacht! – Sogar noch mitten in der Nacht ein Interview auf Radio Lora gegeben und nach einer gemütlichen Dachstock Sommer Nacht mit wenig Schlaf ging es auch leider schon wieder zum Airport und mit schweren Alpen Turbulenzen nach Hamburg, wo das gerissenen Kreuzband gleich vergessen wurde aus dem Flugzeug abgeholt zu werden und fast noch nach London hätte fliegen müssen. Es war so schön bei unseren Nachbarn. 1000 Dank euch Allen aus der Totalbar und dem Haus Tellstrasse. Wir kommen sehr gerne wieder wenn wir dürfen – wir lieben all unsere Nachbarn !!!

Sunday, 07.10. FC Lampedusa Hamburg No Border Tour 2016
Midsummer in Zurich / CH: Feels Like 35 degrees, bright sunlight, Friendlie with our younger brothers from Zurich on the Planzschulwiese Mikkas Züri Youth United vs FC Lampedusa Hamburg 5:. 5 In the penalties the young “Eidgenossen” were then finally prevailed. Congratulations guys. The FC L-HH broken knee from the previous day made the CR7 and Katrin donated 58! Glace (ice cream). Then all quickly, even in the jersey, to the preparation of the FC Lampedusa BBQ into theTotalbar, with fire making, grilling, eating and as they say over here, watching the Euro Final. Congratulations Portugal – well done! – Also giving in the middle of the night an interview on Radio Lora and after a cozy, hot summer night with little sleep we unfortunately have to go to the airport and with heavy Alps turbulence to Hamburg, where the helpersof the airport forget our inavalide into the plane. He was nearly to go to London with the pilot. .It was so nice at our neighbors. 1000 thanks you all from the Totalbar and the house Tellstrasse. We love coming back if we are allowed – we love all our neighbors !!!

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