Sheffield FC is to coach refugee youngsters for matches against teams run by Leeds United, AS Roma and K.A.S Eupen which could take place in the run-up to the next World Cup.
A mini-league is being considered by Qatar to help poor communities across Europe as part of the legacy of the 2022 tournament, which Doha is hosting.
A four-year project, called Generation Amazing, was signed by the tiny Gulf state with Sheffield FC and Leeds United last year.
It began with ‘train the trainer sessions’ at The Coach and Horses Ground to teach age groups ranging from Under-10s through to early teens and 16-19 year olds.
The schedule was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic but it is hoped an autumn re-start will be possible.
Nasser Al Khori, Generation Amazing’s Director of Programmes, said the Leeds and Sheffield youth advocates will join 1,500 people around the world who have received in football for development training.
He said: ‘‘Generation Amazing is about using the World Cup to help refugees and the disadvantaged, to give young children a brighter future and inspire them to help themselves.
“We’ve been in touch with places like AS Roma, KAS Eupen in Belgium, Leeds United and Sheffield FC, and there’s an impetus to create a network so the teams can play each other.
“This is an idea which is being explored a bit further down the line after coronavirus, maybe in 2021 or 2022 during the year we host the World Cup when countries can come together and we can have a mini-World Cup for these refugees and disadvantaged children.’
Sheffield FC player coach Jamie Yates has been brought in to coach youngsters who sign up.
The 31-year-old former Rotherham United player said: “We’re teaching kids how to interact with other people and how to become a leader within themselves. One of our topics was: ‘Are leaders born or made?
“Some of the youngsters couldn’t speak English very well and that tested me as a coach. I had to find different ways to interact, which I really enjoyed – for me that’s what its’ all about.”
To start with the training sessions organised by Sheffield FC, the world’s oldest football club, will focus on Maltby, Dronfield and the city itself, while in Leeds the target areas will be Hunslet, Beeston and Chapeltown.
Content supplied by Anthony Harwood