Former Celtic and Rangers stars back Refugee World Cup 2024 in Scotland

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Two former Scotland internationals are backing a good cause in the form of the Refugee World Cup 2024, which will take place in Scotland later this month.

Former Scotland stars Kevin Thomson and Stephen McManus are teaming up to help promote the upcoming Refugee World Cup 2024 in Scotland. The event, which takes place on June 23 at Toryglen Regional Training Centre, will see players from more than 50 nations compete to ‘celebrate new Scots’.

The World Cup is dubbed ‘Scotland’s most diverse football event’, with hundreds expected to be in attendance to catch the action. The tournament will last five hours, with 24 teams featuring in all, including players from local communities, refugees, asylum seekers and people from Minority Ethnic groups. The 7-a-side tournament has previously attracted talent such as former Celtic man Karamoko Dembele.

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With excitement building around the event, former Scotland internationals Thomson and McManus have agreed to support the event, featuring in media events before the big day as well as attending on June 23 for the action. Meanwhile, Abdul Bostani, who is the managing director of Glasgow Afghan United FC and the organiser of the Refugee World Cup Scotland 2024, has 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.”

Bostani added: “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.”

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