Solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers through sport23 June 2003

As Refugee Week has drawn to a close over a hectic weekend of activities, Kick It Out is revealing details of a national football tournament for refugees and asylum seekers in Manchester later this summer.

The Unity Cup will bring together teams of footballers who are refugee and asylum seekers from every part of the country, for a weekend of the beautiful game, food and music, supported by high-profile footballing celebrities.
Teams from London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dover, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Norwich, Newcastle, Sheffield, Sunderland, and the host city of Manchester, will make the Unity Cup the biggest sporting gathering of refugees and asylum seekers in Britain.

As part of the weekend, participants will be given advice on asylum rights, how to participate in mainstream footballing activities, and developing links with their local professional clubs and County FA’s.

The Cup will be played over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of August in central Manchester. The event is part of Kick It Out activities in the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, and is majority funded by the European Commission, Directorate General Employment and Social Affairs.

Piara Powar, National co-ordinator of Kick It Out, said,
“The Unity Cup will aim to bring together footballers in an act of solidarity through sport for what has rapidly become the most ostracised section of the population in Britain.

The gathering of so many players who are refugees or asylum seekers, some of who will have been professionals in their country of origin, will illustrate the positive achievements of those seeking assistance in Britain, whilst offering an opportunity for exchanges of experiences, and support from footballing agencies.”

For more information please contact:
Leon Mann or Piara Powar at Kick it Out,
Phone ++44-20-7684 4884