World Cup football comes to Manchester to kick off Refugee Week celebrations

World Cup football comes to Manchester to kick off Refugee Week celebrations

As football mania reaches fever pitch across the country with England’s finest preparing to play their first match in the World Cup this weekend over in Germany, footballers in Manchester are also getting themselves into shape in preparation for Manchester’s very own cup class competition – the Manchester Refugee Football World Cup.

Like their professional counterparts training has been intensive for the players and the competition is expected to be fiercely – though fairly – fought in the one day tournament this Sunday 11 June. All matches will be played at the Armitage Centre, Moseley Road, Fallowfield with the first match kicking off at 10 am and the winners’ trophy expected to be awarded at 5 pm as the final whistle blows.

The matches promise to be exciting to watch and full of action as the teams boast several very talented players including an Angolan man who has played for both the Angola and Portuguese national teams – a remarkable coincidence given that these two teams actually play against each other this Sunday in the World Cup tournament itself.

The Manchester Refugee World Cup is just one of many events lined up over the next couple of weeks to mark Refugee Week that takes place nationally from 19 – 25 June. A wide range of events – most of them free – will be taking place at venues throughout the city over the next fortnight culminating in the spectacular Exodus Festival on Saturday 24 June in Hulme Park. The week’s activities provide a way for communities to celebrate Manchester’s long and proud tradition of welcoming refugees from around the world and offering them safety, support and sanctuary.

Councillor Basil Curley, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Adult Services, said: “There are masses of different activities planned for Refugee Week with a range so diverse there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone.

“Manchester has always been a welcoming city and is home to people from all corners of the globe who bring with them the richness and diversity of culture, talents, skills and enthusiasm that help make Manchester such a great place to live.

“We hope that people will join us in celebrating Refugee Week and acknowledge the many positive contributions that people who have sought refuge in our city make to our everyday lives.”

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