Brit Asian player seeks to change face of UK football

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

LONDON - One of only three professional British Asian footballers is calling for more to be done to encourage others into the sport.

Zesh Rehman, 27, was the first British Asian to play in the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup.

Now, according to Sky Sports, the former Bradford City defender has launched a foundation in the hope that the next generation can build on his achievements.

At a coaching session for primary schoolchildren in Bradford, he told Sky News he didn’t set out to be a role model.

“When I was nine or 10, a scout told me I’d never make it because my diet was wrong, I’d wouldn’t grow tall enough, I was scared of the weather, and I would like cricket more. But those negative mindsets made me stronger, and now I feel it’s almost my duty to pass what I’ve learned on to these kids,” he said.

Rehman says high-profile campaigns have gone a long way towards kicking racism out of football.

One of the biggest challenges is getting British Asians involved in all aspects of the game.

Through his foundation, Rehman is challenging cultural attitudes as well as those within the game. (ANI)

Filed under: Cricket, Football

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