Bohemian FC have unveiled a new away jersey in conjunction with Amnesty Ireland for the 2020 League Of Ireland season.
The new white jersey with diagonal black and red pinstripes features the words 'Refugees Welcome' across the front and is aimed at highlighting concerns over the direct provision asylum system in Ireland.
The slogan is accompanied by a depiction of a family fleeing oppression and the back of the jersey features the words 'Love Football, Hate Racism'. The partnership was given the green light by Bohs' regular shirt sponsor Des Kelly Interiors.
❤️It is with great delight that the Bohemian Football Club, made possible by @DesKellyIE, unveil our 2020 @ONeills1918 away jersey, a partnership with @AmnestyIreland
Full launch at 11am
Available now at https://t.co/SD2ZEn0mZu pic.twitter.com/wHVMTJ8m0Q
— Bohemian FC 🔴⚫ (@bfcdublin) February 12, 2020
Speaking to Morning Ireland today, Bohemians director Daniel Lambert said "this is the fourth year that we've been heavily engaged with MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland). Initially, it was a fan-led initiative where people raise money on the terraces which pays for buses to go to different direct provision centres, mainly in Dublin, and bring families to our games."
Lambert added "people arrive in Ireland and they might not speak the language but everybody speaks football. At Christmas, we had about 200 children and their families in Dalymount Park and they were each given a present, they were coached on the pitch and there were meals made. It was a great day and it really showed us the human impact that football can have.
When quizzed on whether the new jersey contravenes rules about political slogans on jerseys, Daniel said "we don't see it as political, we see it as humanitarian and a social issue. Barcelona had UNICEF on their shirt and we see it as a message about welcoming people to Dalymount."
The new jersey will be on display throughout the 2020 season, which starts for Bohs with a home match against Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers on Saturday afternoon. The Gypsies' first away match will be against Waterford on Friday, February 21.