Congratulations to SARI's Diverse City FC who won the SARI Soccerfest Respect Cup 2019. Diverse City are the team formed from SARI's Hijabs and Hat-tricks programme which was started in 2014 to encourage and support more girls and young women of all faiths to play football...


Over 1,800 people joined members of Ireland's migrant community in the Phoenix Park, Dublin to celebrate the 23rd Annual Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) Soccerfest taking place in partnership with the European Week of Sport.

The European Week of Sport is an initiative of the European Commission which aims to promote sport and health enhancing physical activity for everyone regardless of age, background or fitness level. Sport Ireland is the national co-ordinator for the European Week of Sport in Ireland and there will be over 300  sport and physical activity events taking place during the week.

This is the 23rd year of Soccerfest and organisers estimate that since SARI Soccerfest was first held in 1997, over 8,000 people have participated in the tournament while a further 10,000 have travelled from migrant and minority communities across the country to enjoy the entertainment and events that take place alongside the tournament. This year 36 teams featuring players from over 60 nationalities participated in the competition including a team from Ireland's Rohingya community based in Carlow, a team of Syrian refugees now based in Ballaghaderreen, teams from Direct Provision Centres, Belfast United Together - a team of players from both sides of the sectarian divide and diverse ethnic backgrounds and the Mochre Lionesses who travelled form Wales to play in the women's competition.

The SARI Cup was won by Ennis All Stars who beat East Coast in the final on penalties. Ennis All Stars are the first team to win the Cup three times. The SARI Plate was won by Limerick Rovers who beat China Red in the final. The Women's Cup was won by SARI's Diverse City FC who beat Ladies Force FC in the final.

SARI Director and former Ireland football manager Brian Kerr said "Today is a very special day for us in SARI. We are especially proud that we are now marking 23 years of this fantastic sporting and cultural event.  This event is a unique mix of top quality football, fun and free events and in the past 23 years it has been a space for Ireland's migrant communities to take another step forward in the path to integration.

"Every year SARI invites people from Direct Provision Centres and refugee communities across Ireland to the Phoenix Park for Soccerfest organising transport and meals for players, family and friends.  It's a great opportunity to enjoy a day out at the Phoenix Park and meet people from all over Ireland - and all over the world.

SARI is very grateful for all the support and help we have received over the years to make Soccerfest possible.  I am especially delighted to see that Sport Ireland has chosen SARI Soccerfest for the fourth year in a row as a flagship event for the European Week of Sport."

To mark the launch of the European Week of Sport at Soccerfest this year, sports clubs from across the country were in the Garda Grounds in the Phoenix Park to showcase their sports including GAA Hurling, Table Tennis, Cricket, Volleyball, Tai Chi, Tug-of-War and a Climbing Wall. Demonstrations of each sport took place throughout the day and visitors were encouraged to try a new sport or activity.

Sport Ireland Director of Participation, Dr Una May, said "Sport Ireland is delighted to be part of SARI Soccerfest once more through the European Week of Sport initiative. SARI's Soccerfest plays an important role in opening pathways to participation in sport for the many nationalities now residing in Ireland. One of the key strategic objectives of Sport Ireland is increasing participation in sport and physical activity and we are determined to get as many people active as possible. Today it is absolutely inspiring to see so many people willing to embrace new sports and activities so wholeheartedly."

A full listing of events scheduled for the European week of Sport is available on the Sport Ireland website www.sportireland.ie and everyone is encouraged and invited to get involved and participate in their local events.

SARI, which was founded in 1997, uses the power of sport to challenge discrimination, , promote cultural integration and drive social inclusion throughout Ireland

Sport Ireland is the national co-ordinator for the European Week of Sport in Ireland which aims to promote sport and physical activity across Europe. Over three hundred sport and physical activity events will take place across Ireland from 23rd -30th of September.

Soccerfest is supported by BDO, Sport Ireland, Dublin City Council and Coca Cola.