A football tournament that aimed at promoting social cohesion and youth leadership among the residents of Ukhiya concluded on Friday.
The tournament succeeded to catch attention of the people of Ukhiya, specially the youths, IOM said in a statement.Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar. The Rohingyas are living in 28 camps in Ukhiya and six in Teknaf.
The presence of this huge number of Rohingyas has sparked tension with the host communities and football has emerged as a popular tool to foster cohesion.
Ukhiya’s Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Nikaruzzaman said his administration is dedicated to promoting social cohesion and youth leadership amongst the residents of UKhiya.
Ukhiya upazila administration, with the collaboration of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its partner Action Aid Bangladesh organised the event. Cox’s Bazar’s Deputy Commissioner Md Kamal Hossain inaugurated the tournament on November 25.
IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh Manuel Pereira said they were “very pleased to join this initiative”. IOM had previously arranged a football game to promote good ties between locals and Rohingyas.
The Sonarpara Bachai Elevens lifted trophy of the UNO Cup Football Tournament 2019 held at Ukhiya Government High School playground.Ten teams from five unions of Ukhiya competed in the tournament. Sonarpara Bachai Elevens emerged champions defeating Patabari Shoilerdheba Bachai Elevens by 1-0 goal in final.
UNO Nikaruzzaman handed over the trophies. At the closing ceremony, representatives from Ukhiya UNO office, IOM and Action Aid Bangladesh, were present along with a remarkable number of spectators.
The winner team will play a friendly match with the Rohingya community in the last week of December this year.
UNO Nikaruzzaman said they plan to organise many such sporting events in future.