SCAR (Sports Campaign Against Racism) are poised to lead the line in sponsoring this year’s Bradford Summer Cup.

The annual pre-season tournament is set to resume this year, after a year’s absence due to Covid-19, and along with campaigns such as Kick It Out, SCAR will lead from the front in sponsoring the tournament.

Teams from all over the Bradford region will compete in the competition, with a trophy on offer for the winner.

The format will see open-age teams battle it out in a group stage, with the chance of reaching a semi-final and final.

June 27 will see the first set of fixtures be played, with four or five pitches being used around the city to host all the matches, with the final scheduled in for mid-August.

And discussing the tournament's go-ahead, tournament secretary Akif Khan, said: "It was extremely difficult trying to get the tournament to go ahead.

"Especially when you are doing it on your own. The problem I have, is that we are trying to keep the cost as low as possible, but it costs us and the teams to pay for the fixtures and the referees.

"Now it's going ahead though, I'm looking forward to it. The format itself will include open age teams, between 20 and 25 sides, and the games will be played around the main pitches in Bradford, including Thornton Recreation.

"Every side will play on a Sunday without fail, and some teams may even have an extra midweek fixture, dependent on how many games have been played."

Khan also stated the importance of football returning in the local community and feels it's crucial that the tournament is going ahead.

He said: "It's massive for people's mental health. Most players have had a lot of time out, and the reason why I did it was because I've ran a team for myself for around ten years, at Toller FC.

"And I know how important pre-season is, so the reason I used to enter my team into this competition, was to play against teams superior to mine, to play in a tougher group and basically learn from the challenge.

"And I took over from the guy who arranged the tournament, around three years ago. As I've said, it's sometimes a lot more of a headache than it's worth, but I do it to give back to the community.

"I know how important it's to give teams pre-season, but more importantly I know how important it's to give people sanity and to get people away from work."

And SCAR, who will sponsor the tournament and the Bradford Park Avenue junior team, hold a strong message which is close to Khan's heart.

He said: "I'm a huge fan of SCAR and Kick It Out, and the messages they put across.

"I've got all sorts of friends from different backgrounds. I think in football, unfortunately racism still exists, and I've been a victim of that myself over the last ten years.

"It's a shame really, especially when you've got friends from different countries and backgrounds.

"I'm a massive believer in it. It's not just about Black Lives Matter, it's about all lives matter, so to promote it, it's something I'm proud of.

"In doing so, I pay for the captains’ armbands out of my own pocket, and I make every single captain representing their teams, wear an armband which says, No to Racism.

"And it's mandatory that they do wear it, prior to every game."

With the Bradford Summer Cup set to resume this year, the message remains loud and clear, with SCAR and Kick It Out providing the backing to promote it.

The closing date for team entries is tomorrow. To enter the tournament, please contact tournament secretary, Khan on 07507902957.