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Football Unites at the Mondiali

Football Unites has been a regular participant in the Mondiali Antirazzisti (Anti-Racist World Cup), which has been held in the town of Montecchio, near Parma in northern Italy since 2000, following three years at Monteforino. Over 150 young people from Sheffield have taken part, the largest single party, 41 people in total, being in July 2003.
In 2005, 192 teams from all over Europe took part in friendly competition, with over 5000 people attending the event. The tournament is spread over 4 days with mini leagues leading to a knockout competition on the last day.

In 1998, two teams from Football Unites, the prototype Sharrow United and the Somali Blades, both reached the final. The 0-0 draw led directly to the idea of the Community Cup, when we proposed to Sheffield United that they could host a replay of the final on the Bramall Lane pitch.

Opposing teams at the Mondiali
Mondiali group photo

Many of the participating organisations (Football Unites included) set up displays and information stalls which give the event a real 'festival' feel. During the evening the event comes alive with live bands (many of which had a anti-racist/anti-fascist slant), DJs, displays and exhibitions.

All of the young people from Football Unites that have visited the Mondiali have found it really enjoyable and rewarding, for different reasons: For some young people it has been the social aspect - the fact that they had the opportunity to mix, converse and share stories/ideas with other young people from around Europe. For others it is the feeling of brotherhood - the feeling that so many people are gathered together to fight a common cause - Racism - together with the opportunity to increase their awareness of anti-racist practice around Europe.

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