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Community football tournament shows hate crime the 'red card'

More than 40 football players and supporters took part in a tournament on Saturday to show hate crime the ‘red card.’ 

Mixed teams with players of different backgrounds and genders took part in the tournament at Stepney Green Astroturf, which launched National Hate Crime Awareness Week (9-16 October) in Tower Hamlets.  

Mayor John Biggs joined councillors including Sirajul Islam, Sabina Akhtar, Motin Uz-Zaman and London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai, to cheer on the teams. 

National Hate Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity to show support for those who have been affected by discrimination and bring people together to take a stand against all forms of hate.  

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:  

“Now more than ever we need to be shining a spotlight on hate crime and what we all can be doing to make sure we are building a stronger and safer community.  

“No one should ever be targeted because of their race, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender, gender identity or any other reason.  

“This football tournament was a great way to bring people together through a love of football, to show hate crime the red card, break down barriers and form relationships on and off the pitch.  

“It’s been great seeing so many people from our community stand together for such an important cause.” 

Tower Hamlets continues to be a multi-award-winning borough in its work to tackle hate crime, including its No Place for Hate campaign, which encourages individuals and organisations to sign a pledge and spread the message that hate will not be tolerated.   

The council launches a pledge competition every October as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, awarding the organisation that gets the most pledge signatures.  

Cllr Sirajul Islam, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:  

“We all have a role to play in tackling discrimination. National Hate Crime Awareness Week gives us an opportunity to highlight what we’re doing with our partners to tackle hate crime, but also learn where we could be doing more and encourage others to get involved.  

“I want to thank everyone who came down on Saturday to our football tournament and made it such a success.  

“Mixing the teams up meant everyone got the chance to meet new people that they wouldn’t necessarily have spoken to otherwise, which is exactly what we were hoping to achieve.” 

To find out more about hate crime, what the council is doing and how to report, please visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/hatecrime to sign the No Place for Hate pledge, please visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/npfh-pledge  

Participants included representatives from:  

  • Tower Hamlets Council – officers and Cabinet Members 
  • Chinese Association 
  • Youth Workers Spotlight 
  • Wapping Youth FC 
  • Tower Hamlets and Hackney SNT Police 
  • Residents 
  • No Place for Hate Champions 
Posted on Wednesday 13th October 2021