By The Rohingya Post

Organised by SARI (Sport Against Racism Ireland) and supported by Sport Ireland, Dublin City Council, BDO and Coca Cola,​ the 23rd Annual SARI Soccerfeast took place at Garda Sports Grounds, Phoenix Park, Dublin on September 14.

The Rohingya community which celebrated its 10th year of resettlement in Ireland in April 2019, has participated every soccer tournament that were organised by SARI, UNHCR Ireland and other.

The Rohingya team was one of 32 teams invited to the Soccerfeast.

Rohingya Football Club Ireland, particularly made up of Rohingya youngsters from Carlow, was grouped together with Pavee United, Hot Press and Congolese.

In the first match of the Soccerfeast, the Rohingya team took on Pavee United losing by 2-1 goals, drew level in the next match with Hot Press with one goal each and defeated by Congolese by 3-1 in the final group match. Subsequently, the team was put into SARI Plate where they played against Athlone. After 1-1 draw, the Rohingya boys went out of the Plate in penalty shootouts, losing out by 4-2 goal difference.

“Winning or losing is a part of game. It is important to enjoy the sport and build frienship with other teams. We are fortunate for being invited every year SARI to witness and be a part of this beautiful game of soccer,” said Mohammed Sofiat, the goalkeeper of Rohingya team.

The Soccerfeast 2019 welcome over 60 different nationalities including resettled refugee communities which are currently residing in all over Ireland, to celebrate “diversity and inclusion”.

On August 24, the Rohingya community released a first-of-its-kind research paper, commissioned by Carlow County Development Partnership (CCDP), highlighting their journey in Ireland, which they now call home.