Western Sydney Wanderers will play host to the Afghan National Cup 2021, a 5-day annual round robin tournament, played at the Wanderers Football Park in Blacktown.
The Afghan National Cup 2021 comprises 24 men’s teams, eight youth teams, and six women’s teams coming from Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia to participate in competitive and inclusive football games.
Every Christmas from 26 December to 30 December, Afghan community members attend the annual football tournament – a festival which takes place in a different city each year.
This year, Western Sydney will be hosting the annual tournament which anticipates thousands of people from the Afghan community across the nation with over 600 participating in a 5-day round robin community-building, 11a-side football tournament.
The Annual Tournament was established in 2003 and later refreshed in 2014 as an opportunity to celebrate culture and promote solidarity through football. It aims to:
- Raise awareness and increase participation of women from CALD backgrounds in football
- Promote inter-cultural connections and strengthen social fabric between various ethnic groups and broader Australian community
- Engage and partner with local community and football organisations to support the event and create opportunities for player pathways, especially for female players
- Promote a sense of belonging, and a feeling of having a place to build a future
- Identify and showcase emerging talents in men’s and women’s football
The competition is coordinated by the Afghanistan Football Federation of Australia – a group of volunteers around Australia dedicated to promoting inclusion through their shared love of football.
After a strife-ridden year, The Afghan National Tournament will play a significant role in bringing the community together, including newly-arrived Afghan footballers, showcasing solidarity and celebrating our culture.
Tournament organiser Hussain Ramazani said he was thankful that Sydney could host the tournament this year to bring his community together.
“This tournament will be a wonderful event to celebrate our football community in what has been a very tough year for the Afghani people,” said Mr Ramazani.
“We would like to thank Western Sydney Wanderers for their support and are very grateful for the community support which will give us a very positive end to our year as we celebrate through our passion for football.”
Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said hosting and helping bring to life tournaments like this is critical to the Wanderers mission.
“Being able to work with our community to host tournaments and opportunities like the Afghan Cup 2021 is incredible,” said Mr Tsatsimas.
“Wanderers Football Park is a world-class venue here in Blacktown and to be able to use the Wanderers Foundation to support and help share this space with our community is a very important part of the work we do.”
Proudly supported by the Wanderers Foundation, the tournament and surrounding activities was supported by a number of donors and supporters to help bring this event to life.
“Nabila and I are very grateful for the opportunity to support this event by the Wanderers’ Foundation,” said Wanderers Foundation donor Mr David Harding.
“Australia is a wonderful land of promise and opportunity for many who are fleeing violence all around the world, and they know they are in a safe and supportive place to celebrate their culture through football.”
“The Modern Painting Group is so proud to be supporting the Western Sydney Wanderers during this fantastic event. It is an absolute pleasure to have been given the opportunity to work with such a dedicated, hard working, and lively team,” said Frank Forouzandeh, Executive Director Modern Painting Group.
Special thanks to Mr David Harding and Dr Nabila Ansari, Mr Frank Forouzandeh, Murrays Coaches Australia, Alpha Hotel Eastern Creek, Raging Waters Sydney, and JD Sports Australia for supporting this tournament through the Wanderers Foundation and partnerships with the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club.
To help support the Wanderers Foundation create meaningful outcomes in the Western Sydney community visit: https://asf.org.au/projects/wsw-community-and-youth-development/