Syrians face Chinese in Dublin soccer tournament

‘Peace and friendship’ soccer event to raise awareness of millions seeking sanctuary


Members of Ireland’s Chinese and Syrian communities gathered in Santry in north Dublin on Sunday morning to hold a soccer tournament as a gesture of peace and friendship between immigrant groups.

The soccer tournament, which was held at the Airways Industrial Estate, coincided with the Chinese New Year festivities which run until February 15th.

Organiser of the event Tian Yu Lloyd, from Dublin’s City of Sanctuary group and a member of the Chinese community, said the event was being held as a call for peace in Syria and in the hopes that the millions of people displaced by the Syrian conflict could find sanctuary in 2017 either back in their home country or overseas in host countries.

“This event was inspired by the football match last October in Beijing, in which the Syrian national team beat the Chinese national team,” said Ms Yu Lloyd. “The Chinese people saw through this match the huge courage and resilience of the Syrian people, who were trying to get on with their lives despite the terrible war that their country was living through.”

“Here in Ireland, the Chinese community is very aware of the Syrian refugees and of the very many difficulties they are facing. They would like at this time of Chinese New Year to express their solidarity with the Syrian people, and to show through this sporting event their desire to help the Syrian refugees who have recently arrived to start a new life in this friendly and hospitable island.”

Sunday’s tournament was organised by City of Sanctuary Dublin with support from Sport against Racism Ireland, the Chinese community and the settled Syrian community in Ireland.

City of Sanctuary is an organisation that supports efforts in Ireland and the UK to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary.