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'We want an answer:' young footballers Rap-Aid storm Cheshunt Youth League meeting
Young footballers who claim they have been unfairly kicked out of their league held a protest last night.
Ten players from Edmonton-based Rap-Aid Youth Football Club stormed an AGM at the Cheshunt Youth League headquarters with their club secretary Tim Aleshe.
The team, which comprises more than 300 youths and trains in Pymmes Park, has been told it cannot play with the league this season, meaning the children will not have a chance to play competitive football.
Mr Aleshe, who interrupted the meeting at 8.10pm last night – ten minutes after it started, said: “We only stayed for two minutes as I have got so much respect for the other managers and the last thing I want to do is for them to see us as trouble makers.
“I don’t know what is going to happen, we are feeling nothing but frustration.”
Mr Aleshe does not understand why the team has not been accepted as part of the league and would like the decision to be reversed.
The players dressed in their football kits and carried A4 banners which read “Why do you want us out of the league?” “All we want to do is play football with our local friends” and “We want an answer.”
The meeting was made up of the teams who have been accepted as part of the league this year.
He said him and the young players were pressured to leave as soon as they arrived.
Although Mr Aleshe is not feeling any more confident about getting reinstated after the meeting, he believes people are starting to listen to their plight.
Rap-Aid, which was formed three years ago to bring youths together from across Enfield and Haringey, has competed as part of the Cheshunt Youth League since 2009.
Mr Aleshe believes the club is crucial as Edmonton has a prolific gang culture and football is a way to reduce barriers between different people.
Ten teams ranging from Under Seven to Under 15 age groups form Rap-Aid.
Although the young people could continue training, Mr Aleshe believes it will not be the same if the children cannot play competitively.
Mark Prince, whose 15-year-old son Kiyan was stabbed to death outside his Edgware school in 2006, is also backing the campaign to get the team reinstated as part of the league.
Mr Prince, who set up the Kiyan Prince Foundation in 2007 in a bid to combat knife crime and youth violence, believes football is a way to prevent young people from becoming affiliated with gang violence.
The Enfield Independent is waiting for a comment from Cheshunt Youth League.