SARI Soccerfest drives migrant inclusion in Ireland
On Saturday 12 August, one of Europe’s largest football anti-discrimination festivals brought together migrant communities from across the world to play football and celebrate its inclusive power.
The annual initiative, held at the Phoenix Park, Dublin, celebrated its 19 anniversary with a series of activities, including football tournaments, cultural displays and entertainment for children, creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for young people, families, migrants and local communities.
Thirty-two male teams competed in an eight-group tournament, while four women’s teams contested their own cup.
The SARI Soccerfest, organised by the Irish NGO Sport Against Racism in Ireland (SARI), started as an event aimed at helping the inclusion of migrants in their new communities.
On their website the organisers said: “The Soccerfest provides an environment in which people from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures can appreciate their shared passion and compete in a respectful way, recognising the diversity that is among the population and a feature of international sport.”
During its almost 20 years of existence, the growing popularity of the festival turned it into one of Europe’s most successful intercultural football tournaments, also addressing all forms of discrimination. Today the event has become an integrative day that connects all communities as a whole.
Team Syria, a team for refugees in Ireland coming from Syria, is to debut at the Soccerfest on 12 September with the support of Glentoran FC who have become the team's kit sponsors.
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