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Showing posts from September, 2014

Gaza Project Latest

Took delivery last week of our first batch of used balls and boots for our Gaza campaign.

Thirty-five balls and assorted boots of varied sizes were tipped our way by Caloundra City soccer club.

Club Prez Craig Russell told me as we stood in an empty football field as dusk and a storm approached that this is the biggest junior club on the Sunshine Coast, with some 45 teams. The team Craig coaches just fell short of the Grand Final, but finished a credible third in the comp.

So, thanks to Craig and the Caloundra City family for their generous donation.

Only 965 balls to go to reach our target....

Fortunately, we have received pledges from Kevin Milstein at the Reagan Milstein Foundation, The Sunshine Coast Churches Soccer Association and from Mark Acaster (who has helped us before) at Red Lion Football Tours, so we're gradually on the way to our target.

We'll rein them all in as we get closer to the delivery date.

We have an open call for balls and kit - used and new - and so t…

Africa, Peace and the Round Ball

Some peace initiatives using football have been promoting the cause of peace in East Africa.

Both programs, one UN-backed, the other run through Oxfam, speak to the power of the game to generate co-operation through play and fun, always the easiest route for humans to find solutions....

The UN project in Somalia aimed to commemorate World Peace Day later this month. The key message is this, I think, from Somali Football Federation President Abdiqani Said Arab who reportedly "sent a strong message to the UN requesting the world body to pay much attention to football which has so far been used as an element of peace building and yielded positive results."

Clunky translation maybe, but you get the point.

Not sure however what research Mr Arab may be alluding to as there does not appear to be a lot. Anecdotal evidence is fairly plentiful though and this may be what he was noting.

This program in Uganda, run by Oxfam, similarly utilises the ability of the beautiful game to allow p…

Korean Minefield

Recently, a game between North Korea and Finland became a political - yep - football.

During the FIFA Women's Under-20 World Cup in Canada, fans of Korean unification turned out to support the DPRK, aka North Korea, and to show their unbiased approach to the coming together of the two Koreas,  separated after the Korean War 60 years ago.

This was intended to make a non-violent statement, using the peaceful focal point of football as the vehicle.

All well and good you might say. Not for FIFA.

As you can read here in this eyewitness account, a FIFA official moved in and shut the support down.  The official cited FIFA regulations which require there to be no political statements in a FIFA sanctioned game.

This looks to be a can of worms, allowing hypocritical applications of the rule to suit common or accepted prejudices.

For instance, women are not permitted to attend many games in the Middle East (I recall a Socceroos World Cup qualifier some time ago in Iran where this was the c…

No Words Needed

Credit: New York Times Op-Docs