Edinburgh Uni students have organised 5-a-side World Cup tournament for charity

Proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International and Men Matter UK


In the spirit of the World Cup, students at The University of Edinburgh are organising their own tournament to raise money for charity. The 5-a-side tournament will take place on December 3rd from 13:00 until 15:00 at Peffermill playing fields. The participation entry fee is £10, and the money raised will go to Amnesty International and Men Matter UK. Spaces for the tournament can be booked by messaging the Instagram Page for the tournament: @eu5wc.

We spoke to Erik Nordstrom, one of the organisers. Erik and the four other students (Ruan Mckellar, Lewis Moffat, Michael Rigg, and Jason Smith) had to organise a sporting event for one of their courses. Erik told us that he and his group came up with this idea as they were all “super into football”. They decided to make their 5-a-side tournament World Cup themed, given the World Cup currently taking place. When asked about their opinion on FIFA’s decision to allow Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, Erik said:

“We each think the fact that Qatar is hosting the World Cup is a ridiculous choice. From the Corruption behind it to the money spent to the human rights issues. This is why, whilst we want to create a fun event for students to join, we also want to shed light and raise awareness on the underlying issues on the World Cup that everyone (including us) is so invested in right now”.

There has been controversy surrounding Qatar’s selection as the hosting nation of the World Cup since the decision was announced in 2010. Qatar is the smallest nation ever to host the World Cup, meaning that the country lacked the infrastructure and resources necessary to accommodate such a large event. Qatar embarked on a massive preparation for the World Cup, which included seven new stadiums, a new airport, new roads, a public transport system, and hotels. However, while preparing the country for the huge event, it has been reported that over 6500 migrant workers have died on the job. The abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar has rightly attracted international attention and raised justified concerns about human rights. Many are calling to boycott the World Cup in support of migrant workers and in protest against Qatar and FIFA.

Erik further explained that they chose Amnesty International as one of their charities to “raise awareness on the human rights issues that lie behind the world cup in Qatar”. Amnesty International UK work to protect people “wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied”. Amnesty International is the most extensive grassroots human rights organisation that focuses on educating and mobilising the public.

The winning team will receive a replica World Cup trophy and a £100 cash prize. Dropkick Murphys will sponsor and host the official after-party and trophy-lifting ceremony, where participants will get free beer and pizza. The owners/directors of Dropkick Murphys stated that: “there has been a lot of understandable negative media around the tournament in Qatar, so sponsoring this event where funds all go to great causes like Amnesty International and Men Matters is something we jumped at the chance to do”.

Erik told us that the other charity, Men Matter UK, was chosen because they “wanted to raise awareness on men’s mental health and also show support to a smaller charity”. Men Matter is a non-profit community interest company that was established in 2022. The group focuses on supporting people with mental illnesses and providing a network for men living with mental illness.

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