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Five Mosques contest the Four Mosque Tournament

"Is this where the five-a-side tournament is? We’d like to play." This is how the lads from Noor Mosque in Old Trafford introduced themselves to FC United volunteers setting up the Four Mosque Tournament in Old Trafford Sports Barn. And with some adjustments to the programme for the day, Noor Mosque Under 16s, as they turned out to be, were accommodated and went on to win the Under-16 competition.

The tournament was the brainchild of Diallo Mamadou who approached FC United volunteers over the summer when we were organising training sessions in Cheetham Hill. His idea was to have a tournament for mosque teams from across Manchester to launch our community football programme for the Muslim community.

FC United obtained some funding from the Cooperative Membership and with a lot of help in particular from organisational supreme, Andrew Serraillier, the tournament took place on Tuesday 29th October.

The original four mosques were, Sunna Mosque and the Darul-hiqmah Centre, both in Cheetham Hill, the Didsbury Mosque and the Makki Masjid in Longsight.

The idea was for each mosque to enter an under 11s team, an under 14s team and an under 16s team. In the end, Sunna and Darul-hiqmah entered joint teams and Didsbury only entered an under 16 team. In all over 60 youngsters took part in the tournament.

Ten volunteers from FC United turned up to ensure the event ran smoothly. Training sessions for youngsters waiting for their turn to play in a match were run by Karl Marginson and Phil Schofield from the club’s community coaching team.

Robin Pye from FC United’s community team said: "We are keen for our club to become a vehicle for community cohesion in this city and that means welcoming all parts of the community to our matches and to our events.

"This tournament provides a wonderful platform to build our relationship with Muslim communities in Greater Manchester. It is great to see the mosques bringing so many youngsters to our event and good to see the commitment of so many volunteers to this project."

The tournament was funded by the Cooperative Membership as part of a project aimed at encouraging diverse participation in the football club. Among the dignitaries presenting prizes was Mr Mac Ahmad, Managing Director of Rija Group.

The under 11s and under 14s tournaments were both won by Makki Mosque from Longsight, whose manager Wakas Rashid said afterwards: “This was a good idea. The children enjoyed it. Everybody was helpful and friendly. Taking part in team sport is important because you learn respect for officials and for the other team. I hope that in the future we will see more teams and more masjids participating.???

First Posted ~ 23:30 Fri 12 Feb 2010
News ID ~ 8897
Last Updated ~ 01:56 Wed 17 Feb 2021