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PUSB:'From the Boardroom' versus Exeter City

25 September 2017

After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's match against Exeter City, Coventry City Chairman Tim Fisher wrote the column and his article is published below:

"Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon’s fixture against Exeter City. Thank you for being here this afternoon, and welcome to those visiting fans who have made the long trip today.

This afternoon’s column is slightly different, as I will be talking about a trip I recently made to a refugee camp in Iraq and how Coventry City will be supporting those that are living in the camp.

Barely a day goes by when here in the UK we do not see the latest news reports from the Syrian refugee camps in the Middle East. I had the opportunity to visit the Darashakran camp in Northern Iraq last week. It was an unforgettable experience.

The camp is about 40km north of Erbil a city in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. There are several refugee camps in this region.  Some 13,000 refugees live in this one camp alone, fleeing the war with ISIS, and its population has increased constantly since it was set-up four years ago.

In this camp, the conditions are very poor with very little by way of sanitation facilities, which obviously has an impact on the health and well-being of refugees seeking shelter there. Just last week they ran out of various medicines.

These people and their plight have been forgotten - but we simply must not allow this to happen.

To help manage social problems in the camp the UN has installed a 5-a-side football pitch and now there are 14 teams – of all ages - and a league running in the camp – truly showing the power and inspiration of football.

This is where Coventry City can and will help these people. The fight against ISIS goes on in Syria and Iraq with people continuing to be displaced from their homes and everyday lives.

Following conversations with Club CEO Dave Boddy, Academy Manager Rich Stevens and Sky Blues in the Community Manager Dave Busst on my return from Iraq, I am delighted to say that Coventry City has arranged to send a huge amount of old, used and second hand football kit to the camp to support and run the football efforts in the camp.

The people I met, both refugees and aid workers in the camp, are truly remarkable and visiting the camp really does put our lives in the UK into context.

We are the first English club to visit and support a refugee camp in this manner and this is something we should all be very proud of, as we help some of the most disadvantaged people in the world."

Tim Fisher
Coventry City Football Club

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