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!
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”.