When Iqra Ismail’s teacher told her that “girls can’t play football”, the then eight-year-old was determined to prove her wrong.A proud UK-born Somali, Iqra, now 19, grew up in Southall, a multicultural hub in west London.
The youngest of seven, her love affair with football began in primary school.
She was finally included in a squad, putting on a stellar performance in her first game. She turned to the coach and said: “This why you should pick two girls.”
What began as a hobby quickly turned into a passion and despite initial misgivings, Iqra’s mother jumped on board, reminding her daughter to hold on to her religion, values and also focus on her education.