An annual Edmonton soccer tournament promoting world peace and an inclusive community kicked off this weekend, but was marred by conflict between two groups that caused the Edmonton city police tactical unit to respond.
The tournament at Queen Elizabeth high school, 9425 132 Ave., and Grand Trunk Park, near 132 Avenue and 109 Street, includes teams from Mexico, Namibia, Somalia, Congo, Brazil, El Salvador, Gambia, and Burundi, with the championship game set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Police at the Grand Trunk Park site around noon Saturday said conflict between groups from Ethiopia and Eritrea cause a surge of officers to respond, including the tactical unit.
Just after noon, city police issued a news release warning citizens to stay away from the area near 132 Avenue and 113A Street.
A Sunday game set for 3:45 p.m. was to include city police officers taking on the Canada World Peace Community Team.
Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Captain Abdull, has been organizing the Canada World Peace Soccer Tournament for years. The real goal, he said earlier this week, is to promote community, appreciation, love, and peace.
“I made this tournament because how beautiful Canada is,” he said.
“And I have to give back what Canada has been for me, for everyone … appreciation. You can be in a beautiful country like that in western society and good opportunity, all the kind jobs, education, sport … a country to give something back and talk about peace.”
The Canada World Peace Team and the city police team also faced off at the August tournament last year.
— With files from David Bloom