While the FIFA World Cup has been dogged by controversy, another tournament is kicking off in Brazil that all football fans should get behind. George Smyth of Street Child explains.
Months before the World Cup kicks off in Brazil this summer, Rio will be hosting a tournament of somewhat different dimensions: the Street Child World Cup. It starts on March 28th and, as recently as six months ago, many of its competitors were children still living on the streets from some of the poorest parts of the globe.
Team Liberia is one of the 19 national sides taking part. For its players there is more at stake than world fame and huge fortunes. It’s represents the chance to bring their own issues to a global stage.
The World Cup epitomises football’s global brand. With an audience of more than half the globe, the most famous competition in the world is worth billions in commercial revenue. The Street Child World Cup, in contrast, represents another side to football. This tournament is not so much about glory and prestige, but social change. The tournament’s purpose is to raise awareness of the plight of disadvantaged children across the globe and provide street children with the opportunity to say “I am somebody” and prove that fact to the world.