British citizen of Indian descent will participate in Real Kashmir FC

SRINAGAR: Real Kashmir Football Club will have a new face this year I-League tournament - british citizen Kashif Siddiqi - One of the founders of 'Football for Peace', which has been loaned to the club by the United Kingdom. Oxford United .

Siddiqi, 33, is co-founder of 'Football For Peace (FFP)', created in 2006 by FIFA and Chilean legend Elias Figueroa at the United Nations Office in New York under the direction of Dr. Djibril Diallo and former General Secretary the late Kofi Annan.

The FFP has been active in building a platform for neutrality and dialogue.

Born of an Ugandan mother and an Indian father, a native of Lucknow, Siddiqi is very excited to play with RKFC.

Clearing the air about playing for the Pakistani team, the footballer said a few years ago that the federations of India and Pakistan had approached him to play for them.

The Indian side wanted me to give up my British citizenship and I didn't want that, since my mother had fought so much for that. This citizenship means my mother's blessing to me, Siddiqi said.

I represented Pakistan as a British footballer from South Asia abroad. I have no Pakistani heritage. My heritage comes from India and Africa, he said.

Siddiqi, inspired by his mother's struggles from Africa to the United Kingdom, formed a new brand with global relevance and promoted this initiative internationally with the goal of reconciling humanity, says the FFP website.

The 33-year-old has a vast experience playing in the United Kingdom, the United States and the Gulf.

He will join Mason Robertson and Loveday Enyinnaya, who have been playing for RKFC also known as 'Snow Leopards'. He is the second player abroad after Kallum Higginbotham signed with the club this season.

RKFC, owned by Sandeep Chattoo and Shamim Mehraj, presented this year Durand Cup and the team, coached by David Robertson, led his group and qualified for the semifinals they lost to Mohan Bagan in overtime.

Before joining RKFC, Siddiqi will attend the 74th United Nations General Assembly along with several diplomats with football experience, such as the winner of the FIFA Women's World Cup Carli Llyod, former AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu and veteran New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips.

According to a statement issued by his club, Siddiqi will address the power of football in a panel at the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations that all countries of the world use football to build an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and people. planet

It is an incredible opportunity and I am very proud to be invited to speak with the United Nations and build on the constructive dialogue we have had with so many organizations and so many brilliant people around the world. This is something that I believe so passionately and an important step for Football For Peace, was cited in the statement issued by his club.

At the same time, I have been training hard in Oxford and they have made me feel part of an incredible football club. I cannot thank you enough and I feel fit and ready to continue with the next exciting part of this project that is to lend to Real Kashmir, which will happen shortly after I return from the United States.

People know the challenges facing the Kashmir region and I want to get out, start playing competitive football again and spread the word that Football For Peace is not just about speaking at the United Nations: the game itself can play a role. so massive in bringing peace and opening dialogue throughout the world.

The Oxford Club director, Zaki Nuseibeh, was quoted in the statement saying they were delighted that Siddiqi played for the RKFC.

As club owners we have a responsibility to continuously work on initiatives through which we can use football for the wider good. I am confident that Siddiqi will be a great asset to the Real Kashmir FC squad as a loanee from Oxford United FC. He will also undoubtedly be passionately carrying a message of peace to a region so desperate for it, he said.