Keown pitches in with respect at multicultural football match

Former Arsenal footballer, Martin Keown, back row, second right, and event organiser Xhetan Bushi, back row, right, with the Oxford FCB team.  Picture: OX67484 Greg Blatchford

Former Arsenal footballer, Martin Keown, back row, second right, and event organiser Xhetan Bushi, back row, right, with the Oxford FCB team. Picture: OX67484 Greg Blatchford Buy this photo

First published in News

ARSENAL legend Martin Keown said Oxford’s Cowley Road was “ahead of its time” in promoting multiculturalism as he watched footballers from across the world in a tournament yesterday.

The former England player presented trophies at the Bar Aroma International Carnival Cup at Oxford Brookes University Sports Centre in Headington, which raised more than £1,000 for July’s Cowley Road Carnival.

The six-a-side tournament included 24 teams, with players representing countries including England, Spain, Portugal, Albania, Brazil, Ireland and Jamaica.

Mr Keown, who grew up in Cowley and lives in Oxford, said: “In football you have the same set of rules as you do in life, such as focus, discipline and respect, and that’s what the players were showing towards each other.

Oxford Football Club Barcelona (FCB) beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the final. Captain Triston Lawrence, 29, from Blackbird Leys, said: “Oxford is a multicultural place. It’s good to bring everyone together.”

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