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Arsenal football player and French International Abou Diaby has thrown his weight behind a campaign to tackle gang culture on the streets of London.

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The midfielder took a break from the Emirates Stadium pitch to support a charity auction – helping it raise around £5,000.

The event, organised by the Association of Muslim Police together with the Abou Diaby Foundation, was held to raise awareness of the problems of gang culture.

All proceeds will go to the charity Mothers Against Gangs, which was set up to steer children away from crime.

Diaby, who donated an Arsenal shirt and match tickets, is of Ivorian descent and is himself a Muslim.

More than 100 people turned out for the fundraiser on January 31 at Empress State Building in West Brompton, including musicians, artists and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Syed Baharun, vice-chairman of the Association of Muslim Police (AMP), said: “As police officers, it’s important that we work with the community at all levels and this event has showcased what can be achieved.

“It was fantastic that all sections of the community came together including MPs, poets, AMP members as well as a Premiership footballer and the Commissioner. It’s essential that we all continue to work together.”

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