Opinion: Football is a way to unite

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At a time when the beautiful game seems in danger of tearing itself apart it is heartening to see that football can still unite communities.

From Sheffield United welcoming back convicted rapist Ched Evans to the city and their training ground to the latest shambles tumbling out of Fifa’s headquarters, football seems intent to turn off the very people who are the lifeblood of the sport.

But, tucked away in a corner of Sheffield that has plenty of problems of its own, children from different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds played in a football tournament aimed at bringing everyone together.

Around 100 youngsters took part in the event in Page Hall, organised as part of a programme of activities in the suburb which is being blighted by integration issues.

Of course, it would be trite to say that football can be the cure of all ills but for many people across the world it is a global language.

The sport also provides immense enjoyment for billions of people through playing or watching live at a match or on television.

That is the true essence of the game and we shouldn’t forget it.

* Read more: Football unites children in Sheffield suburb