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Barnet Police officers based at Colindale take on Swiss counterparts at UEFA headquarters
A team of police officers from Barnet “broke the ice” with their counterparts in Switzerland with a friendly football match at UEFA’s headquarters.
The squad of 17, all based at Colindale Police Station, travelled to the town of Nyon to meet the local Police Cantonale De Vaud and take them on in an 11-a-side match.
The game, which the Metropolitan Police’s representatives eventually lost 2-0, was held at the home of European football’s governing body, which is based in the town.
PC Shirvin Zeinalzadeh organised the two-day trip after spending time on secondment with the Swiss police force last year.
He said his team dominated the first half but failed to make a breakthrough before the Swiss took the lead in the second half and later doubled their tally.
The heroic efforts of the Swiss goalkeeper led to a home clean sheet thanks to a string of impressive saves, including a penalty stop in the 90th minute.
Barnet’s officers were given a tour of UEFA’s and the police headquarters as well as lunches and dinners at the football venue, overlooking Lake Geneva.
Each of the officers paid for their own flights and accommodation, and a return trip is already being organised for next year.
PC Zeinalzadeh said: “It was a disappointing result as we dominated for large periods of the game, however, the occasion was what mattered and the notion of being able to share such an amazing venue with a fellow set of officers is what made the day.
"I cannot emphasise enough the kindness shown to us by the Swiss, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for such a great visit.
“I truly hope that this event starts the ball rolling in what is aimed at being the icebreaker in bringing European police forces together, which can lead to better communication, shared intelligence, and the opportunity to visit new cultures in order to better understand our communities here in London.”
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