Palestine 5-a-side tournament runs again to raise money for charity

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Organisers of an East Kilbride charity football tournament that raised nearly £3,000 last November for Palestinian refugees are hosting another event this weekend – but this time it’s bigger!

More than 140 players took part in a 5-a-side festival at the Rouken Glen Country Park in order to raise funds to pay for food, water and medical supplies.

Following that success, Umayr Hussain and his friends are hoping that around 32 sides will contest in this Sunday’s fundraiser – up by nearly a third from the first competition.

Eight pitches are set to be used on the day with East Kilbride Playsport being chosen as one of only two facilities able to house the capacity required for such a big tournament.

Since war between Israel and Hamas erupted in October, more than half of the Gaza Strip’s population of 2.3 million have been forced to flee to camps near the border with Egypt.  

Many now refugees, live with little food or water supply and in horrible conditions.

Organiser Umayr Hussain says it was a combination of two passions which inspired the game:

“I’m really into football. Growing up, I played in a couple of tournaments here and there and I’ve always thought why can we not do it for a charity that I’m a part of.

 “Palestine is an issue that affects us all, so I thought why don’t I try and combine something I love with trying to help a cause that I feel deeply for.”

Growing up in a family that has always had ties to the ILC Mosque which runs community hubs and supports charity work, Umayr ran his first tournament in November last year.

“I don’t think we could’ve asked for much better. In the space of two weeks, we brought in 20 teams, so we had about 140 players roughly.”

Teams wishing to enter are asked to donate £100 per team and the event will take place on Sunday 18th February between 1pm-5pm.

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