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The Chagos Islands team plays for the Chagossian people exiled from their homeland by a US military base. Support the team and the people's struggle to return!
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The Chagos Islands Football (Soccer) Team

This month in Brazil, 32 nations will play in the world’s most popular sporting event, the World Cup. The Chagos Islands team won’t be there. Why not?

The Chagos Islands isn’t eligible for the World Cup because Chagos—an archipelago in the Indian Ocean—isn’t a recognized nation. Its players can’t live in the land they represent on the field because the Chagossian people has been exiled from its homeland for more than 40 years. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. and British governments forcibly removed the entire population while building a U.S. military base on the Chagossians’ island Diego Garcia. The two governments deported the people 1,200 miles away to the western Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles, leaving them in exile with nothing.

Since their expulsion, the Chagossians have been living in poverty, struggling to return to their homeland and gain proper reparations. In recent years, some Chagossians who are UK citizens have been able to move to Britain to try to find better lives. Around a working class suburb of London, near Gatwick Airport, the Chagos Islands football team has played in support of the people's struggle and a simple demand: “LET US RETURN!”

Unfortunately, the team has lacked funds to play regularly and bring their message of “Let Us Return” to the world. Allies worldwide are now rallying to raise money to support the team and the people’s struggle.

Please consider contributing to the team and becoming part of the Chagossians’ struggle for justice. With a contribution, you will get one of the perks described on the right, each of which helps spread the message of “Let Us Return!”

The campaign ends on the day of the World Cup final, July 13th.

What the Team Needs (and What You Get)

With your help, the Chagos Islands football team will be able to train regularly, play official matches, and tell the world, “Let Us Return!” Ultimately, the team hopes to play in the next World Cup for national teams that are not recognized by soccer’s international governing body (FIFA).

Half of your money will help support the following:

- Travel Costs for Matches in the UK and Europe

- Practice Field Rental Fees

- Match and Tournament Entry Fees

- Chagos Islands Football Team Warm-up Tracksuits

- Training and Match Balls

- First Aid Kits 

The other half of your money will go to the Chagos Refugees Group, which is working to win Chagossians’ right of return and to improve living conditions, education, and employment in exile.

With the help of From the Heart Productions, all contributions (beyond the value of any perks received) are tax deductible for U.S. tax purposes.

Other Ways to Support “Let Us Return!”

Even if you cannot make a financial contribution, you can support the team and join the “Let Us Return!” campaign.

·  Spread the word about the campaign and share it on social media.

·  When you hear people talking about the World Cup, ask them if they have  heard about the Chagos Islands team and the struggle to “Let Us Return!”

·  Submit to the "Chagos Island Football Team International Design Competition" (see below) and encourage others to submit.

·  Learn more below and rally others to get involved.

Learn More about the Chagossians & Their Exile

·  The History

·  UK Chagos Support Association

·  Speak Human Rights 

·  Watch a “60 Minutes” report (12 min)

·  Watch John Pilger’s “Stealing a Nation” (56 min)

·  Chagossian Portraits

·  Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia

·  News Articles

·  "Forty Years of Heartbreak"

·  Newly Released US Government Cables

Learn More about the Chagos Islands Team

·  Check out the Chagos Islands team on Facebook

·  Read a Vice story about the team

·  Listen to a BBC interview

Chagos Islands Football Team International Design Competition

As part of the campaign, the team and its supporters are holding a competition to design the official Chagos Islands football team tracksuit.

Professional and amateur designers are encouraged to submit designs for the tracksuit (jacket and pants). The only rules for the competition are that the design must:

1) Incorporate all the colors of the Chagos Islands’ flag (orange, aquamarine, black), with white the only additional color allowed;

2) Bear the official crest of the Chagos Football Association, no larger than 4 in. (10 mm) in height and width;

3) Bear the words “Let Us Return!”

4) Include front and back views of the jacket and pants.

Design submissions must be sent as a .pdf, .jpeg, .tiff, or .doc file to letusreturncompetition@gmail.com by 11:59 p.m. (Washington, DC time) on July 13, 2014.

The team will serve as judges. The winner of the competition will receive three sets of the complete tracksuit, $500, and the rare opportunity to be the designer for a national team uniform and part of a global struggle for justice. The winner will be announced by August 1, 2014.

See: https://www.facebook.com/ChagosDesignCompetition

(Chagos Football Association crest)

(Diego Garcia inside crest)

Find This Campaign On
raised by 67 people in 1 month
31% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$25,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 13, 2014
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Select a Perk
  • $11USD

    You're a serious fan of the team, and you've donated $1 for each member of the team's starting eleven! You are also part of a global movement to tell the world, "Let Us Return!" We'll thank you publicly! (fully tax-deductible)

    5 claimed
  • $27USD
    "Supporters Club Member"

    You're an official member of the Chagos Islands Football Team Supporters Club and you've donated $1 for each member of the squad! You will receive a Supporters Club sticker and public thanks from the team! (amount over $1 is tax-deductible)

    8 claimed
  • $45USD
    "All Star"

    You've helped the team make it to half time! You will receive a Chagos Islands Football Team t-shirt, a sticker, and public thanks from the team! (amount over $8 is tax-deductible)

    13 claimed
  • $90USD

    You've helped the team make it to full time and scored an incredible goal! You will receive an official Supporters Club scarf, a team t-shirt, a sticker, and public thanks from the team! (amount over $15 is tax-deductible)

    3 claimed
  • $120USD
    "Hat Trick"

    You have helped the team make it through extra time and into penalty kicks! You will receive the trifecta of a signed copy of the book "Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia," a Supporters Club scarf, and a team t-shirt. Plus, you also get a sticker and public thanks! (amount over $29 is tax-deductible)

    5 claimed
  • $200USD
    "Woman/Man of the Match"

    You have helped the team emerge victorious and are the Player of the Match! You will receive a signed copy of "Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia," two scarves, two t-shirts, a sticker, and public thanks from the team! (amount over $43 is tax-deductible)

    1 claimed
  • $300USD
    "Most Outstanding Player"

    You have helped the team win the tournament and are the tournament's MOP! You will receive a newly designed Chagos Islands Football Team tracksuit (jacket and pants), a scarf, a t-shirt, a sticker, and most outstanding public thanks from the team! (amount over $65 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 50 claimed
  • $500USD
    "Golden Boot"

    You have helped the team go undefeated, and you are the season's top scorer! You will receive a team tracksuit (jacket and pants), a signed copy of "Island of Shame," a scarf, a t-shirt, a sticker, a phone call to thank you, and prominent public acknowledgement from the team that you are the Golden Boot winner! (amount over $79 is tax-deductible)

    2 out of 25 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    "Ballon d'Or"

    You have helped the team go undefeated, and you have been recognized as the world's best! You will receive the following to share with family and friends: two team tracksuits, two signed copies of "Island of Shame," two scarves, two t-shirts, two stickers, a phone call to thank you, and prominent public acknowledgement from the team that you have been awarded the Golden Ball! (amount over $158 is tax-deductible)

    1 out of 10 claimed
  • $5,000USD

    You will be remembered for eternity as one of the all-time greats for the team and the beautiful game! You will be a guest of honor at all Chagos Islands matches, and you will receive the following to share with family and friends: four tracksuits, four signed copies of "Island of Shame," four scarves, four t-shirts, four stickers to share with friends, a phone call to thank you, and prominent public acknowledgement from the team that you have become one of the sport's immortals! (amount over $341 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 5 claimed
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