Refugee World Cup Scotland 2024

Former Scotland stars Kevin Thomson and Stephen McManus today (June 10) launched the Refugee World Cup Scotland 2024, to be staged on Sunday 23rd June at Toryglen Regional Training Centre in Glasgow.

Players hailing from 50 nations across the world, and now living in Scotland, will lace their boots for an incredible one-day festival of sport in the heart of Glasgow.

Abdul Bostani, Managing Director of Glasgow Afghan United FC and organiser of the Refugee World Cup Scotland 2024 tournament, said: “What is the Refugee World Cup Scotland 2024 about? Primarily, it is about football and community. 

“It is about being able to see refugees in a human and compassionate way. To see human beings who have left their homes, countries and cultures behind to seek safety and a better life.

“We should ask why would anyone choose to leave their homes, their friends and family, their language and culture to embark upon an uncertain and very frightening journey into the unknown? The answer is that many are fleeing from war, conflict, violence, oppression, poverty, starvation, mental and physical torture and prejudice in many forms. For many due to their race, religion, for others a threat to their liberty and life due to their sexuality.

“The aim is to encourage people to welcome with empathy and a deeper understanding, these people to Glasgow, Scotland and the UK. To add to the tradition of Scotland and the UK as a nation welcoming of people to our shores. People have come to these shores from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and beyond for many generations and become New Scots and contributed to the cultural richness, our social education and provided a much needed resource to sustain and develop our economy.

“Football has many great qualities, as Nelson Mandela highlighted: ‘Exercise dissipates tension. And tension is the enemy of serenity.’ One day I believe we will see footballers of a refugee legacy enhance Scotland’s national team in the way we see France’s team represent the diversity of French history.

“Maybe the next Scottish Kylian Mbappe is already here, maybe he is yet to be born. Or maybe he may emerge through a tournament like the Refugee World Cup Scotland 2024? Mbappe’s father Wilfrid is originally from the Cameroonian island of Djébalè and his mother Fayza Lamari is of Algerian descent.

“As it is wonderfully said in Scotland, ‘we’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns’, meaning we are all the same under our skin or religions and cultures.

“This applies as much to New Scots as to those whose families have been here for many generations and we want to see a Scotland where there is a level playing-field for everyone.”

First held in 2012, this summer celebration of sport is one of GAU’s flagship initiatives. Last time more than 300 players from over 50 nations took part in a spirited event that promotes anti-discriminatory values by providing a safe platform for multi-ethnic interaction, helping to eliminate stereotypes and pull down barriers around race, religion, nationality, age, sexual orientation and more within the wider community.

Established in collaboration with the Scottish Unity Football League, it attracts support and sponsorship from across Scotland. This year’s tournament will be held on Sunday 23rd June, with registration from 11am. We have a full slate of teams and our doors will open for spectators so come down and cheer the teams on!