How it started
World United NI
World United formally started in 2004 when a management committee was elected, and the World United name adopted. Prior to formalising the structure, the team met regularly meeting in Ormeau Park for casual football, organised through an organisation called NICEM (Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities). When the player numbers grew, NICEM invited the IFA (Irish Football Association) to get involved, providing football kit and arranging friendly games for the team. The team was now under the wing of the IFA’s Community Relations program until 2009 when it became an independent entity.
What we do
World United works closely with refugees asylum seekers, people from black and minority ethnic groups and local Catholic and Protestant players and volunteers interested in the promotion of Good Relations.
One of its primary goals is to increase the participation of people from ethnic minorities into local football, and provide an environment free from racism, sectarianism and discrimination.
To help integrate members into the local communities, World United started a community outreach program, delivering anti-racism and anti-sectarianism workshops.
Who we work with
Our strategy has been to partner with selected organisations and over the years we have worked with:
- Northern Ireland Committee of Refugee and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS) – referred players to the team
- Police Service Northern Ireland (Community Affairs Branch) – provided transport for players. World United also delivered anti-racism workshops for the PSNI with cross community youth groups
- Limestone United – a key partner providing sport across the interface in North Belfast
Since 2004, World United has had over 200 players from 33 different countries that have played for it and some of the World United pioneers are still part of the team. The current team has the following nationalities represented:
- Guinea Bissau
- Northern Ireland
World United has benefitted from funding provided by the Irish Football Association, National Lottery’s Awards For All fund, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, The Garrick Bar, Belfast and Kainos Software PLC.
The team is managed by a Management Committee, elected every year by the membership at an Annual General Meeting. The current team is as follows:
Chairperson : Paul Moffet
Secretary: Aruna Djalo
Treasurer: Tom Hall
World United NI Committee Members include:
- Tony Sherwani
- Gobi Mahendran
- Colm Oats
- Reginald Vellem
- Brian Caskey