Anti-knife crime campaigners stabbed in row over football


Two youth workers recently honoured for campaigning against knife crime have been stabbed by thugs as they played football in their local park.

Omar Abdullahi, 20, and Amin Husein, 23, received Mayor's Civic Awards last month for setting up a football team to help keep young people off the streets and away from crime.

But while training with the youths in Finsbury Park last week a 20-strong gang approached them and stole their ball.

Victims: Omar Abdullahi and Amin Husein, pictured receiving their Mayor's Civic Awards, were stabbed by a 20-strong gang last week

Victims: Omar Abdullahi and Amin Husein, pictured receiving their Mayor's Civic Awards, were stabbed by a 20-strong gang last week

A fight broke out as the gang taunted the team before pulling out their knives and stabbing Mr Abdullahi in the calf and Mr Husein in the back.

Two other members of the team were also attacked. Mohamed Juma, 19, received a stab wound to his arm and 22-year-old Abdirahman Ali was stabbed in the stomach.

Mr Husein said he was attacked as he went to the aid of another played.

'They got their knives out and went for one of our players. We went to help him and we all got stabbed.'

Mr Abdullahi said: 'I didn't see the knives at first and then I realised I was bleeding and so were other people in the team.

'It was such a shock - we are trying to do something positive with the community and get people away from knife crime.'

All four players received hospital treatment and are now recovering.

The team has now cancelled forthcoming games in fear of another attack.

'We cannot go back there in the near future,' Mr Abdullah said.

Stabbing: The youth workers were targetted by a gang while playing football in Finsbury Park, pictured

Stabbing: The youth workers were targetted by a gang while playing football in Finsbury Park, pictured

'If we don't feel safe, how can we continue? We have been playing football in Finsbury Park for more than five years and there has never been any trouble.' 

More than 1,000 young people have been involved in events organised by the pair over the past five years - including an anti-racism Kick Islamophobia football tournament. 

The men were recognised at Islington Council's awards last month. Islington Mayor Anna Berent has promised to try to find them somewhere else to play.

'For lads who are trying to do really good things in their community to be attacked is abominable,' she said.

'I am totally shocked and dismayed. We must try to find some way to support them. We have to find somewhere else for them to play so they can continue the excellent work they are doing.'

Local police said they would commit extra resources to monitor the area in the wake of the accident.

Detective Simon Jones said: 'It appears that a seemingly trivial incident escalated to the point at which four men were stabbed.'


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