Imad Ali is a proud Liverpudlian who resides in the Toxteth area of the city. Before the covid pandemic, Ali wanted to put together an event that would highlight and celebrate the diverse backgrounds of the port city of Liverpool through the lens of sport. His idea was to create a mini-World Cup made up of teams representing the various ethnicities in the football-mad town.
With lots of down time during the lockdown days of the pandemic, Ali began planning the tournament in earnest. He organized and fundraised within the community to create a celebration for when people were able to gather again. And thus, World In One City was born.
The tournament has been a labor of love for Ali, and each team involved had to cobble together their own sponsorship for kits and to rent the facilities. With the third iteration of the tournament being planned for this summer, local Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold and club sponsor partner Nivea stepped in to highlight the great work Ali and his group of volunteers have done to create the grassroot event.
A video of their meet up was released over the weekend as the tournament’s group play is in full swing. As part of the meet and greet, Trent revealed that Nivea would be fully sponsoring the tournament this summer, including kits and facilities.
It’s fantastic to see such a great grassroots event get the recognition it is due. The tournament has proven to be a draw from across the entire Liverpool community, and is now an anticipated event. Imad Ali and his crew have been very savvy with their social media presence, creating fun advertisements ahead of the tournament kickoff.
The community support for the event has been massive, with large crowds on hand for each match. In fact, in a group stage match last week between Congo and England, the celebrations after a particularly great goal “could be heard for over a mile”.
Take a bow, Christopher Fankam who scored a wonder goal to bring Congo back level to 3-3 after England had taken an early 3-0 lead.— World In One City (@WorldInOneCity1) June 13, 2023
An early contender for Goal of the Tournament?!
It should be noted that the community event has drawn in other well known names. Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, a native of Zimbabwe, came out to support the his side and even provided a little insight during a team huddle.
Nikita Paris, who grew up in Toxteth and currently plays for Manchester United (boo) also came out to show her support for the event.
A massive shout out to @lilkeets Nikita Paris for coming down tonight and chatting to us about the tournament. Nikita has been an ambassador from day 1 and we absolutely love and appreciate her support. #WIOC23 #Liverpool #WorldCup#Tournament #Football pic.twitter.com/ea0vhceKJE— World In One City (@WorldInOneCity1) June 14, 2023