Refugee World Cup 2018

Imagine for a second it’s a June weekend – a bright and sunny Saturday morning and the World Cup is already well under way. But as the teams battle it out to qualify for the quarter final stages another world cup is just kicking off – this time not in Russia but in Albert Park, Salford.

Each year Revive participates in a Refugee World Cup for the asylum seekers and refugees we work with – and each year it is a huge success. This was an especially remarkable day, with the sun shining down brightly on our players, who enjoy competing actively in this very special tournament.

What’s particularly wonderful about the Refugee World Cup is seeing the sheer joy, togetherness, social interaction of each game – and the multi-cultural events taking place alongside them. As one match is under way music plays and some Iranian cultural dancing accompanies the cheers and whoops as the teams shoot and score. Among the many teams that appeared for the special tournament were Manchester warriors, Freedom from Torture, Preston, V.G.S and of course our very own team from Revive, among others.

In the first match, the Revive team was under pressure but managed to control it, finishing in a goalless draw against the Manchester Warriors. However in the second game they emerged as the winning side – clocking up the most goals scored in a single game against Freedom From Torture (5:0). They then went ahead to win the quarter finals against the same team by 2:0. Then the semi-finals – and it looked a steep hill to climb as Revive trailed to a goalless all draw till the end of the normal playing time. This time our team was beaten narrowly by a 6:5 penalty shoot out defeat.

Well, in a game there is always a winner and a loser and this time round the Revive team was one game shy of lifting the championship cup. But all the same, it was a fabulous experience playing football all day and above all the social encounters that bind all these organisations towards one goal……. loving to serve, without counting the cost.


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