Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Brighton
Unit of AssessmentSport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Summary of the impact
Our research led to the creation of Football4Peace (F4P), which is a
vehicle for conflict resolution and peace building in divided societies.
By challenging cultural prejudice F4P has transformed passive citizens
into active ambassadors for peace. More than 8,000 children, 595 coaches
and many community leaders have participated in F4P projects during the
census period, generating political discourse in the community and in
governments up to ministerial level. Innovative community relations
research in the context of Northern Ireland's peace process led to the
development of the F4P initiative. Subsequently it changed the policies of
sporting organisations in Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Ireland, South Africa
and South Korea.
An alliance between University of Brighton (UoB) researchers and civil
and voluntary institutions established a basis for the evolution of the
F4P project in 2001, leading to its roll-out during the next decade
through co-operation with governmental agencies, sport governing bodies,
NGOs and university partners in an escalating cycle of research, project
development/implementation and public policy engagement.
Origins: UoB researchers confirmed the deep-rootedness of
nationalistic and sometimes prejudiced football cultures in comparative
studies: Hosts and champions (1994, eds. SUGDEN/TOMLINSON); Racism
and xenophobia in European football [reference 3.1], which includes
a chapter by TOMLINSON/Fleming and; Sport in divided societies
(1998, eds. Bairner/SUGDEN). This accumulative research identified both
the conservative side of sport, and sport's potential to provide the
catalyst for interventions in acute cases of social fracture and cultural
Mapping: F4P was launched in 2001, initially as an element of the
World Sports Peace Project in Ibilin, Israel, in collaboration with the
Reverend Geoffrey Whitefield, who was a catalyst for the combination of
intervention, evaluation and research that provided the fulcrum for
sustained research and project development. As an activity based community
relations and reconciliation initiative, F4P generated evaluations and
sources for ongoing theorisation. In `Sport and community relations in
Northern Ireland and Israel' [3.2], SUGDEN compared cross-national cases.
The article demonstrated the core elements of identity building strategies
for effective cultural intervention, identifying the primary challenges
for sustained development and further implementation of the model.
Critical intervention: F4P was developed on the basis of a
distinctive model of values-based coaching anchored in an innovative
coaching manual rooted in core values: neutrality, equity/inclusion,
respect, trust and responsibility. This symbiotic programme of project
development, research/evaluation, and concept building confirmed that
sport-based interventions can challenge prejudices in tangible and
sustainable ways, facilitating co-existence within targeted regions while
at the same time embedding good practice within networks of coaches,
teachers and community leaders. These principles and initiatives were then
translated into wider spheres of educational/cultural development via the
Ripple Effect model [3.3].
Impact expansion: The Ripple Effect model, advancing
systematically the insights and ideas of peace education theorist Gavriel
Salomon, was then applied in a range of sociopolitical settings. Arguing
that sport is intrinsically value-neutral, the model nevertheless shows
how, through partnership building and culturally sensitive and pragmatic
interventions, positive incremental contributions to peace building can be
accomplished. Drawing upon notions of critical pragmatism, left realism
and praxis, the approach illustrates the circumstances under which sport
can make a difference in the promotion of social justice and human rights
in deeply divided societies. F4P expanded its global reach by stimulating
and supporting initiatives in other regions of social and political
conflict (Ireland, South Africa and Korea). The model has been refined and
tested in further research rooted in international collaborations [3.4].
The resulting article, drawing on 30 in-depth interviews with stakeholders
and follow-on focus groups across 13 F4P projects, highlights the
intricacies and nuances characterising practice and implementation at the
local level [3.4]. Further UoB-based adaptations and research initiatives
have explored gender dimensions of F4P [3.5] and the persisting patterns
of racism in European football culture (BURDSEY and DOIDGE).
| Daniel Burdsey:
||Lecturer (Sept 2004–31 Aug 2005), Senior Lecturer
(Sept 2005–31 Jul 2011), Principal Lecturer (1 Aug 2011–to date).
||Senior Lecturer (Jan 2004–Jan 2012), Principal Lecturer (Feb
||Lecturer (Aug 2012–Aug 2013), Research Fellow (Aug 2013-to date).
||Reader (Jan 1996–July 1999), Professor of the Sociology of Sport
(July 1999–to date), Assistant Head of School (Aug 2012–to date).
||Senior Lecturer (Nov 1994–31 Aug 2003), Senior Lecturer, (May
||Lecturer (Sept 1975–Aug 1979), Senior Lecturer (Sept 1979–Dec
1983), Principal Lecturer (Jan 1984–Apr 1991), Reader (May 1991–June
1993), Professor of Leisure Studies (June 1993–to date).
References to the research
[3.1] MERKEL, U. and TOKARSKI, W. eds. (1996) Racism and xenophobia
in European football (Aachen, Meyer & Meyer). [Quality
validation: edited book of cross-cultural studies based in six countries,
generated by the peer-reviewed EU-funded project `The Impact of
Euro-racism on Human Mobility — as Reflected in and Resisted Through Sport
[3.2] SUGDEN, J. (2005) Sport and community relations in Northern Ireland
and Israel. In A. Bairner, ed. Sport and the Irish: histories,
identities, issues, Dublin: University College Dublin Press,
pp.238-251. [Quality validation: output is a book chapter based on
international conference paper.]
[3.3] SUGDEN, J. (2010) Critical left-realism and sport interventions in
divided societies. International Review for the Sociology of Sport
45 (3): pp.258-272. [Quality validation: output in leading peer-reviewed
journal, based on conference plenary delivered in UTS, Sydney, Australia.]
[3.5] CAUDWELL, J. (2007) On shifting sands: the complexities of women's
and girls' involvement in Football for Peace. In: J. SUGDEN and J. Wallis,
eds. Football for peace? The challenges of using sport for
co-existence in Israel. Oxford: Aachen, Meyer & Meyer),
pp.97-112. [Quality validation: output in collaboratively generated and
editorially reviewed book that is reference point for material on F4P.]
Key research grants:
TOMLINSON, EU Human Mobility grant, German Sports University, 1994-96,
(UoB allocation circa. £80,000).
SUGDEN, EU Partnership for Peace Grant, `Playing for Peace: Strengthening
Community Relations through Football', ENPI/2009/227-857. Partners in the
Action University of Brighton, and German Sports University Cologne.
2010-2012, total funding, circa. £450,000 (UoB allocation, circa.
DOIDGE, UEFA research grant, 2013-14, (UoB allocation circa. €19,000).
Details of the impact
F4P is rooted in cross-cultural, comparative studies of carefully
engineered sporting encounters in culturally, ethnically and religiously
divided societies. Its reach over the decade of its development has been
into the cultural fissures of Ireland and Israel, and other countries. Its
significance lies in the way it reveals how, if carefully managed, sport
can foster intercultural understanding and harmony.
Changing the policies of sporting organisations: The Israeli
Sports Authority (ISA) has adopted the F4P programme in many different
locations. The Nazareth Manager of the British Council confirms that F4P
was recognised, in 2012, as the `flagship project' of the Israeli Ministry
of Culture and Sport, and that the F4P child-protection training programme
has been adopted as policy by the ISA, where previously no such procedures
were in place (source 5.1). Support from sports and education
policymakers, and evaluative action research reports and reviews, have
enabled coaches to independently initiate and plan cross-community
activities in football and other sporting arenas. In 2012, ISA and F4P
partners agreed that communities themselves would in future own the
programme and deliver it independently within their communities. In 2013 a
new NGO, Sport Unites, began working with the ISA, inheriting and adapting
the F4P model for a broader application beyond football, in the newly
named Sport 4 Life project.
The Director of Football Development at the Irish Football Association
(IFA) described his experience of F4P as `eye-opening' in relation to
values of inclusion, basing the IFA's grassroots programmes `on the values
and principles of Football 4 Peace, embedding these values in coaching
reaching thousands of children throughout Northern Ireland' (5.2). The
Ulster Sports Academy observed in 2013 that: `The University of Brighton
maintains the overarching leadership of Football 4 Peace
International...It has been the connection to other programmes overseas
pioneering the development of the methodology, curriculum and training'
The Head of International Relations at The Football Association (England)
has observed that F4P shows how `football can be used as a vehicle to
bring people and communities together' matching the FA's vision of `using
the power of football to build a better future'; its emphasis on
`teachable moments' has been adopted at grassroots level by the Derby
County (Football Club) Community Trust, for example, to engage
disaffiliated youth (5.6).
Social change through intercultural understanding and challenging
cultural prejudice: In Israel over 8,000 children from 40 Arab and
Jewish communities benefited from F4P. In 2009 Sir Bobby Charlton and the
Manchester United Foundation sent coaches out to be trained and to
volunteer in Israel. He reported on this as follows: `Using football to
bring different people together is an approach that we endorse as part of
our community outreach at Manchester United. I am delighted to be
extending this philosophy to Israel. It is a privilege to be working with
Arab and Jewish youngsters and to be a part of Football 4 Peace project'
(5.4). In 2012, over 1,000 children were involved in activities and 230
coaches and community leaders in Israel have been trained, cascading
training locally to create a national network. Over 200 volunteer student
coaches from the UK have travelled to Israel to work with Jewish and Arab
children, alongside volunteers from Germany. Support and mentoring enables
15 locally planned events each year.
The British Council, (5.1) writes: `In 10 years Football 4 Peace reached
children, coaches and community leaders throughout Israel and has become
the leading cross-community sports project.` In November 2011, the Israeli
Sports Minister, Limor Livnat, addressing a public conference of
international sports professionals, talked of F4P's work in bringing
Jewish and Arab children together with Palestinian and Jordanian children:
`In ten years of activity, amazing and wonderful experiences were
accomplished and strong ties and friendships were established between
children that are different from each other almost on any parameter —
language, (ethnic) origin, nationality — but share together their love of
football ... one cannot exaggerate the importance of these experiences in
reducing stereotypes and fostering good neighbourhood and brotherhood in a
place where once ignorance and fear thrived. Thanks to some of our actions
we were already able to implement we can already see the results on the
Transforming citizens into ambassadors for peace: In 2010, the
model was implemented in Palestine (100 children and 8 coaches) and Jordan
(300 children and 16 coaches). It has been adopted in the Republic of
Ireland and Northern Ireland, where the Pilot Programme (`Gateway'
project) involved ten schools. Renamed F4P Ireland in 2008, the scheme
involved a further 11 schools in the first three years of the full
project, with 15 clubs and 60 coaches. In 2013, in collaboration with the
University of Ulster and Derry City Council, F4P ran an international
residential training camp for 90 participants (5.10, 5.11).
In collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, the F4P model has
also been adapted and adopted in South Africa (5.7); in Jordan, a new NGO
based on the F4P model was established, working in partnership with the
Scouts Association for the development of values-based coach education,
and focusing upon relations between indigenous and refugee communities
(2011/12). In 2012, the F4P model was adopted in South Korea, by the Peace
Culture Institute in Korea (PCIK) and the Korean Sharing Movement (5.7).
Shaping political discourse: The high impact of the project in
political debate is evidenced in the F4P Director's invitation to the UK
Prime Minister's dinner/reception at 10 Downing Street (December 2009), on
the visit of Israel's President Shimon Peres. The profile of our F4P work
was further enhanced through the endorsement of the President of the
Republic of Ireland Michael D. Higgins when he visited a F4P international
training camp in Derry/Londonderry in March 2013, hosted by Football4Peace
Ireland as part of the City's programme of events as UK City of Culture
2013. The F4P Project Director has contributed to debate on the security
and defence agenda at NATO, in the context of cultural relations, conflict
prevention and resolution (5.9). Several film documentaries have been made
of the Israel F4P initiatives as well as one focusing on implementation of
the model in Ireland; many news/media/press features have reported the
projects, including a television feature in Korea (5.8).
Sources to corroborate the impact
5.1 Testimonial available from British Council Manager, Israel confirming
that F4P is a flagship project, changing professional practices through
the implementation of its methodologies.
5.2 Testimonial available from the Irish Football Association's Football
Development Director confirming that values-based coaching derived from
F4P has been integrated in programmes throughout Northern Ireland.
5.3 Ulster Sports Academy, University of Ulster, Football 4 Peace Tutor
Training Evaluation launched, May 2013. Available at: http://www.internationalfundforireland.com/media-centre/601-football4peace-tutor-training-evaluation-report-launched?templateSwitch=IFI_text
[Accessed: 8 November 2013.]
5.4 `Another legend hits the Holy Land — Sir Bobby Charlton', (8 July
2009). Available at: http://igoogledisrael.com/2009/07/another-legend-hits-the-holy-land-sir-bobby-charlton/.
[Accessed: 8 November 2013] This includes the quote about the
implementation of the programme in Israel.
5.5 Ministry of Culture and Sport's Minister, Israel, speaking at
Football Players International Organisation conference. Available at:
[Accessed: 8 November 2013]. Translation of the quotation available on
5.6 Testimonial available from The Football Association England Head of
International Relations, confirming that F4P has brought communities
5.7 Testimonial available from University of Johannesburg Professor,
confirming that the model has been adopted in South Africa.
5.8 Airang Asia's Heartbeat, After 10 Korean television feature
on adoption of F4P in Korea. Available at: http://www.arirang.co.kr/Player/TV_Vod.asp?HL=X&code=VOD&vSeq=71543.
[Accessed: 8 November 2013.]
5.9 SDA International Conference Report — Conflict Prevention and
Resolution: The Role of Cultural Relations (NATO/EU), (2 March 2010).
Available at: http://www.securitydefenceagenda.org/Portals/7/2010/Publications/Report_Cultural_Relations.pdf
[Accessed: 8 November 2013]. This highlights the F4P Director's
contribution to debate.
5.10 Justice Associates, Evaluation of the Football4Peace Ireland
Project Year 2 Report 2009-2010. Available at: http://www.inishowen.ie/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Microsoft-Word-Report-Year-2-2009-2010-Good.pdf.
[Accessed: 8 November 2013] This report evidences the development of the
project in Ireland including the numbers and impact on those involved.
5.11 Testimonial available from the Football 4 Peace, Ireland Project
Manager confirming the
impact of the implementation of the project in Ireland.