Hammers hosting community tournament

West Ham United will play host to preliminary stages of the 2013 SBOBET UK Asian Community Cup this weekend.

Taking place at Rush Green on 18-19 May, the SBOBET UK Asian Community Cup is an annual football festival organised by London Tigers, an award-winning organisation working across London to provide sporting and life opportunities for disadvantaged communities.

More than 300 players are set to turn out for 16 teams during the group stages on the Saturday, with quarter-finals and semi-finals to be held on the Sunday. Supporters are welcome to attend, with admission free of charge.

The Hammers have already shown their support for the tournament, with first team player Emanuel Pogatetz attending the draw at the Boleyn Ground earlier this month.

The final will also be staged at the Boleyn Ground, on Wednesday 12 June with a 7.30pm kick-off.

Austrian international defender Pogatetz was delighted to show his support.

He said: "It was a pleasure to join the organisers of the Asian Community Cup and represent West Ham United at the draw.

"The tournament will offer young Asians the opportunity to showcase their talent and the chance to play on the pitch at the Boleyn Ground. On behalf of the team I would like to wish all of the young people taking part good luck for the tournament."

The tournament is being sponsored by the Club's principal partners SBOBET, the world's leading Asian handicap specialist bookmakers, and supported by The Canary Wharf Group.

The festival creates a pathway for Asians towards mainstream football and provides a platform for amateur Asian teams to showcase their talents.

At the same time, the festival also aims to help kick racism out of football, with up to four non-Asian players allowed on the field of play in each team. Players from countries as wide-ranging as Bangladesh, Brazil and Bulgaria have taken part in previous tournaments.

For more information about the 2013 UK Asian Community Cup, call 020 7289 3395, email [email protected] or click here.