The All Nations Soccer League (ANSL) was created to provide a ministry that is an affordable place for refugees to participate in a structured soccer league because there isn’t an accessible option available for them in Jacksonville due to financial and transportation constraints.
The vision for the ANSL started in 2017 through a local Burmese refugee soccer team that dared to believe there were more refugees in our city that would want to form teams and create a league. Their goal wasn’t only soccer though. Their team had a message of hope to share: that we can all find freedom and new life in Jesus. Over time, we met and gathered a core group of refugee team captains, referees, and board members from Burma, Eritrea, Iraq, Paraguay, N. Ireland, Nepal, Rwanda, Sudan, and the USA who collectively shaped this league. This team of leaders decided that the ANSL would be a faith-based league that shares the love and good news of Jesus with refugees and people of all nations in our community, thus giving us our name.
The ANSL welcomes players of all beliefs and backgrounds and is a safe place to explore belief in God while forging healthy community through the fun of playing soccer. We determined our goals for the ANSL are to help refugees and people of all nations in our community discover Jesus through soccer, help restore refugees from the devastation they were displaced from, forge unity by breaking down racial hostility, mobilize churches to do local missions, create awareness for local refugee aid, build bridges for refugee employment opportunities and empower young adult males to follow Jesus and positively impact our city as they become husbands and fathers. To accomplish this the league offers spring and fall seasons of weekly games and partners with churches, businesses, and charities in Jacksonville to help bridge relationships with refugees.
In our first season starting on March 17th, 2018 we began with 7 referees, 9 teams, and upwards of 225 players from 25 different nations. Currently we have 29 referees, 10 teams and 253 players from 66 different nations. We have already seen the transformation and impact God is having through this league in our city and hope you will get involved!