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Football for Palestine

Publication: Migrant Women Press

Glasgow hosts a landmark women's and non-binary football tournament in solidarity with the people of Palestine this Saturday.

Glasgow Saints F.C Women and Non-Binary Team | Photo by Glasgow Saints F.C | All rights reserved

On Saturday, the 25th of November, Petershill Park in Springburn will see eight women and non-binary football teams compete to symbolise solidarity with the people of Palestine. 

This is a significant date as the event will coincide with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which kicks off this year’s 16-day activism campaign against gender-based violence.

Glasgow Saints F.C Women and Non-Binary Team | Photo by Glasgow Saints F.C | All rights reserved

Rosa Stevenson (She/Her) is a Govanhill-based activist who has played a key role in organising the event. Rosa has a history of political activism and engagement as an active member of the Scottish Socialist Party and a Scottish delegate/organiser for the Fourth International’s Revolutionary Youth Camp. She planned the event with the football clubs to foster community and raise money for the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

When asked about her goals for the tournament, Rosa said: “I wanted to do something to support Palestine, and I think Football is a unifying thing. Football is the perfect vessel to fundraise and bring people from the community together. It will allow people to meet and organise further action”.

Inclusion is at the heart of the event, as many of the teams involved champion diversity and community engagement. 

Didi in the green jersey, goalkeeper for Glasgow Saints F.C Women | Photo by Glasgow Saints F.C | All rights reserved

Glasgow Saints F.C is one of the teams competing in the tournament. The club’s core value is promoting socially conscious activities and initiatives to help those in need.

Diletta Elisa Tari (She/They), also known as Didi, is the Sporting Director for the Saints women and non-binary team. Didi was born in Italy and migrated to Glasgow nine years ago. She noted that her experience of migration has been more positive than others: “As a white middle-class person, I am often seen as ‘an expat’ rather than ‘an immigrant’, which means, for mostly racist reasons, that I am seen as a more desirable immigrant.”

Didi commended Scotland for being welcoming to migrants: “Scotland, however, seems to have done a better job than all countries I experienced at welcoming my black and brown immigrant pals”.

The necessity of this event is noted in Didi’s powerful words on the upcoming tournament: “I can’t feel excited about the event, but I do feel honoured to be part of such a wonderful grassroots community that is seeing what has been happening in Gaza, understood the role they could play in calling for a ceasefire, and felt compelled into action.”

Glasgow Saints F.C women and non-binary team in action | Photo by Glasgow Saints F.C | All rights reserved

Fellow Saints player General Dorcas (They/Them) will also be competing this Saturday. 

Dorcas migrated to Scotland from Nigeria only nine months ago. When discussing the tournament, they noted: “I find the Palestine football tournament an important cause, and I’m also glad to be a part of it; there’s no better way to show our support to them and to equally play with love.”

Saints player Sharon Idehen (She/Her) is an Italian migrant and has lived in Glasgow for five years. 

Sharon has had an enjoyable experience playing for the Saints and is passionate about supporting Palestine by participating in the tournament: “I enjoy every single game and training session. I really enjoy spending time with my team, as they are very friendly and united. I am eager for the Palestine tournament as it’s such an important cause that we all need to support.”

Organiser Rosa Stevenson highlighted the community support for the tournament: “We were obviously concerned about pushback, given that it is a controversial subject. However, we have mainly seen support. People have donated brilliant raffle prizes, and Petershill Park donated the stadium to us”.

Guest speakers for the event include Holly Bruce, Councillor for the Scottish Greens and a Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Committee representative.

The Football for Palestine event will commence at 3:30 pm. There will be a raffle which boasts prizes such as O2 academy concert tickets, a T-shirt signed by Rose Reilly and signed Franz Ferdinand memorabilia. 

Entry donations are welcomed, and all money raised will go to Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

Further information can be found at Glasgow Saints FC Women’s Instagram page: