Asian talent shines at Coppleston
SOCCER: Asian footballers from across East Anglia and London descended on Ipswich to compete in a tournament designed to boost participation among Asian groups.
ASIAN footballers from across East Anglia and London descended on Ipswich to compete in a tournament designed to boost participation among Asian groups.
Ten teams entered the 11-a-side tournament, which was held at Copleston High School, Ipswich. It was organised by the Bangladeshi Ipswich Football Association.
Mahbubul Alam, chairman of the Bangladeshi Football Support Centre, said: "We are trying to promote the game in the Asian community. Many people from the Asian community are not always accessing this sport but we are trying to bring it into the mainstream to boost participation."
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The winners and runners-up from the two groups of five progressed into the knockout stages. Each team was allowed three non-Asian players in their team to promote closer links with their fellow communities.
Scouts from many top football clubs, including Ipswich Town, Colchester United and Chelsea, were all invited to attend the event.
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Mr Alam said: "This is an opportunity for the people in this community to show their talents. This is the fourth tournament that we have held and we plan to run it again next year."
The tournament was won by Finsbury Park from London. They beat Kent-based Brothers Union 1-0 in the final.
Two Ipswich-based sides took part – Ipswich Bangladeshi Boys Club and Bangladeshi Ipswich Football Association – but neither progressed through from the group stage.