Football For Unity, United Against Racism

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Football For Unity, United Against Racism

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the UEFA European Football Championship, Dublin hosted a Football for UNITY Festival intending to demonstrate the potential of football as an educational tool that can bring communities together and promote social inclusion for newcomers to Ireland.
20th Jul 2021

The finals of the festival were played on Friday at St. Laurence O’Toole Recreation Centre in Sheriff Street.

In attendance were former Republic of Ireland Manager Brian Kerr, Dublin GAA star Michael Darragh Macauley and DLR Waves goalkeeper Rugile Auskalnyte, as well as people supporting their local communities. 

The festival was just one of seven UNITY festivals that were held across UEFA EURO 2020 host cities. Although Dublin was not able to host any matches for EURO 2020 it remained one of the seven cities chosen to host Football for UNITY festivals. 

The goal of these festivals was to show how football can form bonds between people from different backgrounds while promoting the social inclusion of third-country nationals in their host cities.

The event was led by Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) in conjunction with local stakeholders NEIC, UNHCR, Irish Refugee Council, Dublin City Council, the FAI and Bohemian F.C and supported by the UEFA Foundation and funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

The finals which took place last Friday, 16th July featured four different competitions. East Wall and Marino Divas were victorious in the Under 16’s Boys and Under 18’s Women finals respectively, while Le Pensionate won the Women’s tournament.

In the final game of the afternoon, SARI were triumphant in the Men’s tournament. Thomas Caldwell, a member of the winning East Wall Under 16’s Boys team felt that the tournament was important as it helped for “more people to get interested in football, and for people from different communities to get together to play against each other”.

The support from FAI Football Development Officer Neil Keoghan was also crucial to the event running smoothly.

For more information on the Football for Unity Festival:

Go to – www.footballforunity.ie
Email - info@sari.ie