Football Unites, Racism Divides offers refugees and asylum seekers opportunities to play football in organised tournaments and to help teams and players become involved in affiliated leagues and clubs. Football Unites, Racism Divides also offers refugees with the opportunity to be involved in projects as volunteers.
Several of the coaching staff at Football Unites are refugees themselves, and this has been of great benefit in making and maintaining contact with a wide range of displaced communities in Sheffield. Football Unites, Racism Divides provides young refugee and asylum seekers with important role models and helps build links with the diverse local communities of Sheffield.
After several tournaments and coaching sessions aimed at asylum seekers in 2002, Football Unites started the All Nations tournament. Teamed up with County FA development officer Brian Peck, Sheffield First For Safety and contacts at Refugee Housing Association, 17 teams took part in the tournament and the finalists went on to compete in the national Unity Cup in Manchester, August 2003.
The All Nations Summer League followed, with 8 teams competing at the Sheffield United Academy. Teams included players from Afghanistan, Iraq, Albania, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Nigeria, Chile, Iran and Jamaica.
In July 2006, the Unity Cup was held in Sheffield, offering refugees and asylum seekers from across the UK the opportunity to play football against each other and help promote a more positive image of displaced communities to the local community and press.
In 2010, a mainly Liberian team, the Galeed Giants, won the tournament for the third time. Photo galleries of the 2010 tournament taken by Clive Egginton can be viewed by following this link:
http://archive-sheffield.org/gallery.php?flickr=72157624333826138&photographerid=1&title=Football Unites Racism Divides
and photos by Andy Greaves can be seen at the link below.