Campaigners condemn hate attack

Outraged officials at Altrincham have condemned an attack on a local Muslim community leader as they prepare to fly the flag for the EVO-STIK League on Non League Day 2017 backing Kick It Out's Fans For Diversity campaign.

The Robins - chosen to recognise the work of Kick It Out's annual campaign to unite communities on Saturday 7 October when they host Rushall Olympic - said their planned support at Moss Lane was more relevant than ever following the unprovoked assault on a "much loved local man" in a club statement on Monday condemning the perpetrators.

After being given permission by EVO-STIK League officials only days before to wear special Kick It Out warm-up t-shirts before the 3pm kick-off on Saturday week, a statement read: "Altrincham Football Club were shocked and saddened to hear about the attack on Mr Nasser Kurdy, vice-chair of Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association, on Sunday evening. We were delighted to hear that he was duly released from hospital and is said to be recovering well.

"Attacks of this nature have no place in our town and we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Altrincham community in condemning it. The Fans For Diversity event that we have planned for our upcoming Non-League Day is now more relevant than ever.

"We hope that our involvement with Kick It Out and The Football Supporters' Federation can demonstrate how football unites all. We are in discussions with the local community on what format the day will now take and we will announce further plans when they are finalised."

Altrincham were chosen to back the campaign for the EVO-STIK League alongside three other clubs nationally, the Bostik League's Metropolitan Police, EVO-STIK League Southern Slimbridge and Solihull Moors representing the National League.

The annual campaign is run in partnership with the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) who are teaming up with Kick It Out for a series of activities and promotions at the four clubs for the sixth consecutive year. Organisers are hoping to encourage greater engagement with a diverse range of communities with the EVO-STIK League Premier Division's representatives already focusing on encouraging more women to attend football matches through its Women At The Game initiative.

Fans at other games on Non League Day 2017 can get involved with Kick It Out’s work around the initiative by using the hashtag #OurNLD and including a picture of themselves at their respective stadium. Supporters are particularly encouraged to take images they feel celebrate the diversity of Non-League support – whether that’s related to age, disability, faith, gender, gender reassignment, race or sexual orientation.

Non-League Day, one of the biggest events on the football calendar promoting the Non-League game, returns for an eighth consecutive season during next month's international break. NLD's official charity Prostate Cancer UK, along with the EVO-STIK League's official charity Sports Traider and a host of other charities connected to clubs and leagues around the country, are set to benefit once again from bucket collections and the charity fundraising efforts of fans.

Images courtesy of Kick It Out& @altrinchamfc/Twitter

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