A DAY of sport showed the true beauty of the beautiful game as more than 100 footballers joined forces in solidarity with refugees.

In what was the largest participation in the event's history, more than 300 players took part in yesterday's Refugee Festival Scotland 2022 Football Tournament.

Coming from around 50 nationalities, teams competed in an all-day seven-a-side league to take the top trophy.

Glasgow Times:

The flagship event from the Scottish Unity Football League and Glasgow Afghan United aims to break down barriers between communities and overcome prejudice.

Teams are drawn from the SUFL and beyond, with Police Scotland, the Armed Forces, politicians, local football academies and other groups fielding squads to compete. 

Abdul Bostani, director of Glasgow Afghan United, said: "As usual Glasgow Afghan United Refugee Festival Football Tournament is one of the most diverse events in the city – not only in the city but in Scotland.

"It's been really good to see a lot of people from different backgrounds participating in this tournament.

Glasgow Times:

"Every year this tournament is getting bigger and bigger.

"Some of the teams have got female players because it is open to all and everybody can come here and enjoy their time playing."

Games are regular and regulated, costs are kept low to encourage participation and there is a zero tolerance approach to racism.

Bosses said many of the players who take part in the SUFL have real potential - Karamoko Dembele started out there before breaking through to Celtic FC.

The one-day seven-a-side championship is staged at Toryglen Regional Football Centre. 

More than 20 teams took part with players hailing from around 50 different nations.

Last year the tournament took inspiration from UEFA Euro 2020 action taking place in Glasgow, with each team allocated a Euro 2020 country to compete as. 

Organisers said yesterday was the best tournament yet, building on previous success.

Abdul added: "This tournament means a lot to all of us. 

"The refugee populations are the most vulnerable populations in the world and there are more than 100 million people who are displaced or are refugees around the world.

"Over the past week of the Scottish Refugee Festival we have been celebrating refugees, and show solidarity to refugees and say loud and clear that refugees are welcome here.

"The tournament has been a crazy atmosphere - it's really loud, really exciting with more than 300 players and hundreds of people who have come along to watch them.

"You see it from all different walks of life coming here supporting and participating, it's fantastic.

"Glasgow is now one of the most diverse cities in the UK and we're thrilled

Glasgow has won the European Capital of Sport 2023.

"We've so proud of this and this is what we're about.

"These are the people who make our city a proud city."