Emmaus companion Soheil took RAFC Hope Football to a place in the quarter finals in the team’s first appearance in Greater Manchester’s Refugee World Cup.

The day’s tournament was organised by Manchester Football Association at Whalley Range Sports Centre in Manchester on Saturday 29 June. The competition involved teams from ten boroughs of the county, made up of players from countries across the world.

It was the first time Hope Football took part in the Refugee World Cup since setting up at Rochdale AFC a year ago. Hope narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals, after successfully getting through as one of the top two teams in each of the group stages.

Liz Cotterill,  RAFC Hope Football Coach, said: “Reaching the quarter finals is testimony to the hard work and positivity to keep going, of all the players who are part of Hope Football Team.

“The Hope Football initiative supports people in destitution and everything in between. If you’ve a friend who has lived here all their lives, they are also welcome to play Hope Football because it is about helping everyone integrate and bringing people together.

“I know Emmaus does some amazing work in Rochdale, and Soheil speaks very highly of how the charity has helped him and how supportive Emmaus has been of his football.”

Soheil successfully applied for the right to remain in the UK with the support of Emmaus in Lancashire. He now helps in the Emmaus Department Store in Rochdale to give back to the charity that is supporting him. The store generates the funds needed for our homelessness charity to sustain a home, support, training and work opportunities for people with experience of homelessness and social exclusion.

Find out more about how you can support Emmaus in Lancashire here.

Training with RAFC Hope Football Team takes place every Wednesday at the Kick Pitch at Crown Oil Stadium from 5pm to 7pm. If you would like to join or find out more, contact [email protected] and visit: https://www.rochdaleafccommunity.org/hope-football/