Classy Camden are Freedom 50 Champions

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Emdad Rahman

CAMDEN VETS have been crowned winners of the Freedom 50 Football Championships after a final held at Mabley Green. The North Londoners created history to despatch Spartak Luton on penalties after the final ended goal-less. 

With the score at two penalties apiece, it was the industrious Gia Rahman who put away the final penalty to bring it home for Camden. Abdul Monaf was deservedly named man of the match for being the team architect from the first game till the last. 

Camden had reached the final using the hard route and really had heads nodding after going a goal down in the semi-final to the favourites, an excellent Beaumont Masters side. With less than five minutes to go, it was Gia himself who came on to level matters. Camden went on to beat their dashing opponents on penalties. 

ILFL Chair Rashid Ali commented, “Today we pay homage to Bangladesh, in celebration of its independence. Congratulations to Camden Vets on winning, and we thank all participants for playing with spirit throughout the day. Well done everybody!”

The Freedom Cup was organised by the Inner London Football League (ILFL) and 50 Active Club UK. Eight teams took part in the 35+ veterans segment – the showpiece tournament of the day. There were separate 16+ and 50+ age-graded tournaments being played simultaneously. 

Victorious Camden manager Akbar Miah said, “We played with great heart throughout the day, well done to my team and all competitors.”

Penalty hero Gia Rahman, the older brother of the acclaimed Ash Rahman, made it a family double of scoring winning penalties in a final. He added, “It's been a great day, one of celebration and unity. The Freedom Cup pays homage to the Bangladeshi freedom fighters and martyrs we lost during Bangladesh’s War of Independence. I am dedicating this moment to them all.”

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