Match held to mark Islamic holy festival

OMA United’s Raghdan Karim and Constable Aaron Burgess of the Blue n’ Gold Bobbies fight for the...
OMA United’s Raghdan Karim and Constable Aaron Burgess of the Blue n’ Gold Bobbies fight for the ball. PHOTOS: GERARD O'BRIEN
Football was the winner on the day - and so were the Blue n' Gold Bobbies.

The team of Dunedin police officers beat OMA United, a team fielded by the Otago Muslim Association, 4-0 yesterday.

The friendly match at Sunnyvale Park in Green Island was held to mark the Islamic holy festival Eid ul Adha and also included a minute's silence for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.

The idea for the match came about during the month of Ramadan at a meal shared by police and members of Dunedin's Al Huda mosque.

About 150 spectators lined the side of the pitch to cheer for both teams and enjoy a lunch put on by the association.

For winning the match the Bobbies took home the Kotahitanga Cup and both sides expressed the hope the match would become an annual event.

Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen, of Dunedin, said while both teams wanted to win it was played in a spirit fitting the occasion.

"As soon as you cross that white line you want to win but it was played in really great spirits - no-one was sent off or injured. Some of the less fit guys might be a bit sore but we're more than happy with the kick out there today.

A minute’s silence is observed to honour the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks before...
A minute’s silence is observed to honour the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks before kick-off. PHOTOS: GERARD O’BRIEN

"It was an awesome day, really."

Association president Dr Mohammed Rizwan said the event was complete success.

"It's been great, people are enjoying themselves and the food, [and] the football is being played hard but fair," he said.

The match also doubled as a warm-up for the police team, which is preparing for a police football tournament in Napier next week.

More than 100 spectators — from both the Muslim and wider community — watched from the sidelines...
More than 100 spectators — from both the Muslim and wider community — watched from the sidelines and also took part in other festivities to mark the Islamic holy festival Eid ul Adha.

 

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Kotahitanga: Oneness.

 

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