Trevor Lunn said: “Sport can be a uniting force for good and this event highlights this sentiment perfectly. This is a very fitting tribute to one of football’s true legends.
“This tournament is well structured and innovative in its aim to provide workshops on a wide range of important subjects. It is admirable that the initiative is not simply a football tournament – it is also helping tackle sectarianism, racism and will address drug and alcohol awareness.
“It’s also brilliant to see teams from England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland competing alongside teams from here. The fact that Liverpool FC is competing in this event underlines the ambition shown by the organisers.
“This tournament is a great idea which will use sport to boost community relations. It will also give local youngsters a great chance to play against big teams from around the UK and Ireland. This event can be positive for young people on a number of important levels.”
East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long said: “This event seeks to put Belfast on the youth football map by delivering a professional, exciting and inclusive tournament that will actively encourage young people from many different backgrounds in the UK and Ireland to participate in a way that will help break down sectarianism and division in our society.
“The vision of a tournament that will help educate children on important issues like community relations and wellbeing is a very commendable one.”