Ukraine emerge as champions of Inner City World Cup on Hackney Marshes
- Credit: mark abery
More than 50 different nationalities turned out at Hackney Marshes as teams competed for the Inner City World Cup.
The main 11-a-side contest was won by Ukraine who beat Brazil on penalties while Bolivia overcame France in the plate.
On a difficult weekend – the day following the London Bridge attacks – the highlight was the Iraq, USA, Syria and Russia teams posing together for one big team photo in “a wonderful show of unity”. Gary Mabbutt, former Tottenham Hotspur captain and England player, acted as a referee and presented all the players with medals.
The contest has been going on since 1994 when 24 teams competed on Wanstead Flats. It was set up by semi-professional soccer player Mark Abery who realised “every footballer’s dream” of competing in the World Cup was never going to come true for him – unless he set one up of his own. He said: “The common denominator for everyone is they love football.”