Wed. Jun 29th, 2022

BBC

Mesut Ozil has joined forces with the Football Association and Football for Peace to launch a development centre for South Asians in England.

The University of Bradford will host the centre, which will “run football and life skill sessions” at League Two side Bradford’s training ground.

“I want to promote them, give them an opportunity to be successful both on and off the pitch,” said Ozil.

“I am from an ethnic diverse background and understand the challenges.”

Former Real Madrid and Arsenal playmaker Ozil, who is of Turkish origin, was born in Gelsenkirchen in Germany.

He went on to play 92 times for Germany and helped them win the 2014 World Cup.

Ozil is currently at Turkish side Fenerbahce after leaving Arsenal on a free transfer in January.

“I have always been surprised why the South Asian community are only allowed to be fans of the game,” he said. “Why are we not seeing more players or managers breaking into professional football?

“I hope the Football for Peace Mesut Ozil Centre will become the platform they need.”

Figures last year showed British Asians make up about 7% of the UK population but only 0.25% of professional footballers.

Former British South Asian player Kashif Siddiqi is the co-founder of Football for Peace and the centre in Bradford is to be the “first as part of a nationwide initiative”.

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is an entertainment and football lover, promoter, analyst and writer. He aspires to make a name in the media company. He is the CEO of Soccercruz (News site, Podcast, Radio and Television). email: zobanwosu88@gmail.com, phone number: +2348063046744.

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