Mesut Ozil says he will give British South Asian players a platform to shine after linking up with partners including the Football Association and Bradford City for the launch of the football for Peace Mesut Ozil Center.
Exclusive speaking met Sky Sports News last year, former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey spoke over grow up in Leicester and playing football with South Asian children as younger, met the addition of the community has an undeniable passion for the game.
But despite making up about eight percent of the UK population, less than 0.25 percent of players over the competitions in England has a South Asian background, with Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari tells Sky Sports News that this is “the biggest statistical anomaly” in football”.
“I’ve always been amazed why the South Asian community is allowed to be alone” fans of the game,” World Cup winner said Ozil.
“Why don’t we see? more players of managers die hack in professional football? l want to promote them, give them a chance to be both successful on and off the field.
“I myself come from an ethnically diverse background and understand the challenges. I hope the football for Peace Mesut Ozil Center will be the platform they need.”
De Mesut Ozilic development center is intended to provide paths to football and education and will be hosted at University of Bradford, with taking elite sessions place at the Bradford City training ground.
Bradford City CEO, Ryan Sparks, said: “We are delighted to be part of it of the Mesut Ozil Football for Peace Development Centre, which the growth and inclusion of the South Asian community in football. Inclusion and diversity are fundamental to the success of U.S club and Bradford as a whole – and we’re proud of that on providing a welcoming and warming environment for all.”
FA board member, Rupinder Bains, said: “The FA is proud support this important initiative that aligns with our Asian inclusion strategy, Providing opportunities to communities. All people carelessly of ethnicity of background should in be able to play and enjoy the game.
“Through this initiative, we hope to see more young people from historically underrepresented ethnic backgrounds die in break academy structures, creating a stronger one future pipeline of talent for the professional game. It’s a promising one step forward.”
University of Bradford Vice Chancellor, professor Shirley Congdon, said: “Through this collaboration we hope use football engage with young people in our communities, to show how sport can help relieve pressure social and environmental issues, and to help they become future leaders who will make a difference to societies around the world.”
The Bradford Hub is sponsored by Innaree and will be run as a pilot, with more american football for Co-branded Peace Centers with different players expected to be rolled out in different parts of the country on the way to the new year.
Ozil is a long-term supporter of american football for peace, a global organization supported by the United Nations and internationally co-founded by the British South Asian and former Pakistan international footballer Kash Siddiqi.
Ozil worked together up with Siddiqi during lockdown last year with arranging the couple for the delivery of 500,000 meals in the UK die goods set to move from Wembley Stadium to waste management.
Siddiqi said, “Football has given me so much, and it works with Mesut we want to create a platform that a framework within in the football pyramid between professional clubs and also U.S community.
“While it is important to see greater representation, in professional sport, it is also essential to recognize power football can have on communities. Our ongoing commitment with young people and communities also wants to contribute to reduce the devastating consequences of COVID-19 die has also led to reduced sports participation, especially within the South Asian community.”
British South Asian community ‘often forgotten’
The middle also enjoy the support of national charity Sporting equals, who formed the British Asians in Council for Sports and Exercise (BASPA) in 2018 to explore why British South Asians are highly underrepresented on the highest level of sport.
Only seven athletes (out of 630) met a South Asian background participated for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics games and Paralympic Games. Five years on, the situation has deteriorated – wheelchair rugby gold medalist Ayuz Bhuta was the only British South Asian athlete in both the Olympics and the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
BASPA coaching Vice-Chairman, Manisha Tailor, MBE said: “The problems of talent trajectories and support extended to British South Asian communities have been around for a long time. While other ethnically diverse communities way to elite level sports, British South Asian community often becomes over overlooked.
“There is also a lot of misinformation and outdated stereotypes over our community, die has created an unconscious bias for our energy and passion for sports that are not just cricket of hockey.”
Khalsa Football Association Chairman, Gurdawar Singh Dhaliwal added: “Lack of of representation at UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, many would conclude that there is no interest from our community engage in football of maybe we are not talented enough. This is just not true – in 1996, Jas Bains and Raj Patel emphasized the dangers of this wrong information and tried to rectify this with the ironically named “Asians Can’t Play Football” report.
“It’s sad that 25 years on, while the desire and talent persist within British South Asian communities, a lack of of understanding, involvement, empathy and support for elite talent trajectories and specific community involvement remains our community of reaching the professional levels die we know we are in stands of to achieve.”
‘Proud’ Mishra wil more South Asian coaches
Meanwhile, Charlton Women Assistant manager Riteesh Mishra has spoken of take pride in representing UK South Asian coaches at the highest level of football.
Mishra is assistant to Karen Hills at Championship side Charlton Women, making him the highest-ranked South Asian coach in the elite game in England.
“I am very proud, for mine family name and for myself, that I in am able to community in women’s football and elite football in general”, Mishra told Sky Sports News.
“On the other hand, it’s pretty disappointing that there haven’t been others – especially at the top end” of the game – who were able to break through. We’re starting to see it good progress, and I just hope the fact that I met you can speak give younger coaches just the idea that you can make one profession in professional football.
“It’s tough. But we can see there’s a lot” of work to go on behind the scenes to help coaches like getting to the top ourselves – and it’s about our quality, our resilience and our commitment to stay there once you in die jobs come, that’s really important.”
British South Asians in american football
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