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Pangbourne Rotary Club organise football match against local Afghan community



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Pangbourne Rotary Club organised a seven-a-side football match in one of its latest initiatives to help the local displaced Afghan community.

The match, which was held on Sunday, January 30, saw the Reading Old Boys face off against the Afghan All-Stars in a thrilling match that ended in a 3-3 draw.

This comes after the Rotary Club helped Qais Rahmani, an Afghan man who couldn’t return to his country after passing out from Sandhurst Military Academy, find accommodation at a local hotel where several Afghan families are based.

Picture from the match between the Reading Old Boys and the Afghan All-Stars
Picture from the match between the Reading Old Boys and the Afghan All-Stars

Mr Rahmani said: “Thank you very much to everyone who arranged the football club and time for us, and everyone was very happy and also all my friends said thanks to all of you gentlemen for sorting the best time for us.

“Many thanks to everyone and God bless all of you.”

The Rotary Club has held a number of events to help those who are being housed by the Home Office at the hotel until permanent homes are found for them.

The Afghan All-Stars team
The Afghan All-Stars team

The club is currently gathering toys, clothes and other objects so that they can be given to the Afghan families in need.

Pangbourne Rotary Club member Richard Anderson said: “I am passionate about how we as a country repay our Afghan friends who helped us so much in the recent conflict.

“Their mere existence in Afghanistan is a death sentence for them and their families so we really owe them a debt of gratitude.

“A game of football may not seem much but it shows we care about them and even though it is a small thing in the greater picture it means we are doing ‘our bit’.

Children from the families also took part in the friendly kickabout
Children from the families also took part in the friendly kickabout

“If everyone was the same it would make all the difference to a wonderful group of people who did ‘their bit’ for us.”

Both teams have said they’d like to play one another again, with the Rotary Club hoping to hold similar social events in the future.



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