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Soccer: The Sport that Changes the Lives of Children

“Soccer, all over the world, boys and girls play and love that sport. It is played by boys and girls alike in the crowded urban streets and small villages. It is played in fields, in refugee camps and even in situations of war and armed conflict. Wherever there are boys and girls, it is very likely that there will be soccer.” – UNICEF.org

In today’s article, we bring you a small review by UNICEF about how soccer changes the lives of children, keep reading.

Soccer and children

Fourteen years ago on May 20, 2004, UNICEF congratulated its ally, FIFA, the international organization that governs soccer, for helping change the lives of children around the world through sports practice.

In June 2002, Japan and the Republic of Korea jointly organized the World Cup, and for the first time, the tournament was dedicated to a humanitarian cause: childhood.

Several soccer players who participated in the World Cup also acted as spokespersons for the UNICEF campaign “Say yes for children.” Boys and girls with t-shirts where the name of the campaign could be read, escorted the players when they entered the field. The FIFA Soccer World Cup offered an unprecedented opportunity to promote the rights of children around the world.

UNICEF has discovered that soccer makes it possible to reach children in many different ways:

✔ Education: “UNICEF has joined FIFA to take advantage of the vast popularity and high visibility of soccer to help all children go to school and not drop out of school.”

✔ HIV / AIDS: “UNICEF supports several soccer programs related to HIV/AIDS education.”

✔ Children’s wellbeing: “UNICEF has discovered that the practice of soccer can help children recover from trauma, as it encourages their physical and emotional development.”

✔ Girls’ education: “Girls who play sports tend to be healthier, both emotionally and physically. UNICEF uses sports team kits and soccer practice as tools to increase girls school attendance, to empower girls, and to change attitudes around girls and women’s status around the world.”

✔ Poverty “And in countries where there are few opportunities for children to get rid of poverty, conflict and disease, soccer, like other games, is a positive practice.”


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