WORLD REFUGEE DAY

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Ireland and Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) are encouraging the public to 'Do One Thing' to support refugees this World Refugee day by coming to the second annual Fair Play Cup in Dublin's Law Society gardens on Saturday 18th June.

UNHCR is also commemorating the 60th anniversary of the UN Convention Relating to Refugees.  Emerging in the wake of World War II to help Europeans displaced by that conflict, the UN Refugee Agency was established in 1950, followed in 1951 by the adoption of the UN Convention Relating to Refugees.

Also responding to the recently ended turmoil of war, in 1950 the football World Cup was resurrected following its cancellation in 1942 and 1946 as a result of the war.

UNHCR and SARI see the occasion as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the contribution of refugees in sport throughout Irish communities and for people in Ireland to learn more about refugees and the continued plight of millions of people throughout the world forced to flee their homes and seek refuge and protection.

Hot Press, winners of the 2010 inaugural tournament, will again face tough opposition against last year's beaten finalists SARI/INSAKA, the Department of Justice teams and Newstalk's Off the Ball team led by presenter Eoin McDevitt, the show's anchor man who will also MC the event.

The 7-a-side tournament will feature teams drawn from refugee and community groups, Government agencies and members of the media with players from a host of different countries including Angola, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Ireland competing in the men's and women's competitions.

Other entertainment at the free event includes football skills training provided by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) face painting, music and much more for the whole family.

Sophie Magennis, Head of Office, UNHCR Ireland said, "Refugees and displaced people around the world are in a league of their own when it comes to the challenges they face."

"Despite refugees' often dire circumstances in very challenging environments, UNHCR has seen how sport can play a key role in helping to build tolerance, understanding and respect among different communities, setting aside cultural differences and giving young people a sense of self worth."

Perry Ogden chair of SARI said, "The 1950 football World Cup was not the first or last time that sport would play a role in achieving a positive spirit of human triumph over adversity and indeed over the next sixty years, the sporting world, in particular football, has played a significant role in the promotion of human rights and integration."

The Fair Play Football Cup takes place on June 18 at the Law Society Pitch, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7, from 10.30am until 2.30pm.

The event is kindly supported by The Football Association of Ireland, Dublin City Council, Coca Cola and the EU SPIN Project.

Check out highlights of the 2010 inaugural Fair Play Cup on the you tube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5akAb3ZFHs

For more information please contact:

Louise Browne, Media Officer, 087 153 7333; loiseb22@yahoo.co.uk   

Yolanda Kennedy, External Relations Officer, UNHCR: 087/9893461; kennedy@unhcr.org

 

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