Refugee World Cup set for return to Leeds for first time since 2019

Leeds Refugee Forum are set to host their Refugee World Cup football tournament for the first time since 2019 this weekend.

By Tom Coates
Friday, 17th June 2022, 4:30 pm

The event ran annually between 2007 and 2019 but the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to the action in 2020 and 2021.

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However, Trinity Academy Leeds in Burmantofts will play host to the tournament on Saturday 18 June from 12pm.

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The event ran annually between 2007 and 2019 but the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to the action in 2020 and 2021. Credit: Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Ali Mahgoub, director of Leeds Refugee Forum, said: "The football tournament is very important, football is a good way of bringing communities together.

"It's an informal competition but it's a community event. We bring supporters from different communities to support the teams and try to encourage service users from other agencies and the volunteers and staff to come together.

"Some organisations have their own teams - it's a mix of service users, staff and volunteers."

It is anticipated by Leeds Refugee Forum that over 400 people will descend on Trinity Academy Leeds for the tournament, 50 of which are expected to be organisers and volunteers.

As it stands, there are 20 teams registered and 10 players per team are expected for what will be a 7-a-side tournament.

The tournament will be followed by a series of events spanning the duration of the following week celebrating Refugee Week 2022.

Mr Mahgoub said: "We bring people together and it's a really big celebration. It is just about celebrating being together and doing things jointly.

"The refugee week is a national celebration of the contribution of refugees and asylum seekers to the community."

Events being hosted for Refugee Week include the launch of a brand new mural and the return of partly-animatronic giant puppet Little Amal.

Standing at 3.5 metres tall, Little Amal is living artwork of a young Syrian refugee and has travelled across Europe to focus attention on the urgent needs of young refugees across the world.

Her walk in Leeds will start at Briggate at 6pm before ending in Millenium Square at 8pm.