FURD and the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA held the 7th annual Sheffield All Nations Festival at Goodwin Sports Centre on 20th June 2010. The festival provides an opportunity for refugees and asylum-seekers living locally to take part in a friendly 7-a-side football tournament. The event formed part of Sheffield's contribution to Refugee Week and was supported by a grant from Sheffield Council. 11 teams took part including Iraqi, Chinese, Somali, Kurdish, Liberian and Congolese participants amongst others. Galeed Giants won the tournament for the 3rd time. The team consists mainly of refugees from Liberia who were resettled here as part of the Gateway Protection Programme run by the United Nations in conjunction with the governments of several countries to protect some of the world's most vulnerable refugees.
The tournament also aims to encourage participants to take part in more organised football to assist with their integration into the local community, and some of the Iraqi and Liberian players have recently been getting together to play 11-a-side friendly games as a result of the All Nations initiative. The County FA is running a 'Summer Flexi-Footie 11-a-side League' as a trial, starting this week, with 6 teams taking part, including 4 who played in the All Nations tournament. Next year FURD is hoping to run an All Nations 11-a-side summer league.
Contact FURD for more information.
Photos of the 2010 tournament can be seen by following the link below.