On Sunday 8th August, 24 teams will take place in the annual Refugee Festival Football Tournament organised by Glasgow Afghan United. 

In collaboration with the Scottish Unity Football League, the tournament aims to bring local and refugee communities together to enjoy “the beautiful game” and make new connections, as well as providing a platform to raise awareness of the journeys and difficulties faced by new Scots communities.

The tournament was postponed last year due to COVID-19, but this year people from over 50 nationalities will compete in 7-a-side matches. The winning team is awarded a trophy, with medals for the runners-up.

One team competing in the tournament is known as the Dream Team. Set up by Positive Action in Housing volunteer Adam Paterson, the Dream Team includes three survivors of last year’s Park Inn incident.

Hear more from Adam and members of the Dream Team in this clip from BBC Reporting Scotland.

Sportswear brand RivalKit have worked with a number of the teams to design their kits for the day.

Organiser Abdul Bostani says:

“Whilst football supports patriotism, it also facilitates inclusion, whether that be an increase in participation by diverse groups or greater exposure to sports featuring footballers with refugee background. Through events like the refugee football tournament, we get exposed to new cultures, new ways of thinking and different abilities. Sport (not just football) reminds us that there is more that binds us together than separates us, and promotes the values and skills of teamwork, cooperation, mutual respect and acceptance.

“This is an amazing platform to break down barriers and build bridges between communities as it gives everyone (particularly young people) a sense of self-worth and focus and allows them to set aside cultural differences in a constructive way.”


Good luck to everyone competing on Sunday!



Image: Peter Glaser.

Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah