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Soccer academy for African refugees in Egypt

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Mar 14, 2021

CAIRO — Three years in the past, Francis Dennik Kwal, who hails from South Sudan, got here to Egypt to review on the American University of Cairo. However, he lower his academic path brief when he determined in late 2020 to inaugurate an academy to show soccer to African refugees in Egypt.

Kwal beforehand performed for a number of golf equipment in Sudan, together with Al-Ahly Shendi Club and Al-Nesoor Sports Club. He sought to increase his athletic profession in Cairo by establishing the South Sudan Academy for African refugees who’re captivated with soccer. 

The academy has accepted refugees from varied African international locations. It has three groups — one for boys, one for ladies and younger ladies and one for males 18 and above. He coaches all three.

Kwal advised Al-Monitor, “The academy includes African players in Egypt, most of whom hail from South Sudan, in addition to players from Congo, Sudan, Nigeria and Mali. The door is open to all African refugees who are interested in joining at any time.”

He added, “The main purpose of the academy is to develop the abilities of players and amateurs and prepare them to play on Egyptian and European [official] teams. The academy also helps train children while focusing on the ethical and disciplinary aspect. We are raising a generation that is scientifically, athletically and culturally competent.”

Kwal stated, “The academy can contribute to cementing ties among African countries and refugees in Egypt specifically and opening new horizons for them in the country.”

The academy has round 200 gamers, Kwal stated.

As of December 2020, the UN refugee company UNHCR has documented nearly 260,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt, together with 49,000 from Sudan. The Sudanese represent the second-biggest nationality of refugees living in Egypt after Syrians; there are additionally South Sudanese, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Iraqis and Yemenites.

A report printed by Independent Arabia on Dec. 11 talked in regards to the hardships confronted by African refugees in Egypt, together with bullying and racism, usually amounting to bodily abuse.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi advised the World Youth Forum held in late 2019, “Egypt considers refugees on its territory as guests, no matter how large their numbers. It is forbidden and unacceptable to mistreat refugees.”

Kwal stated, “Egyptians are welcoming when we play soccer games with them. My relationship with them is good, and I receive huge support from them. Soccer does not have a certain race or category. We all speak one language.”

He had optimistic issues to say in regards to the ladies’s group. “Generally, women’s soccer is new in Africa. But they are currently achieving good results at the academy. This is promising.” 

Coming up the cash to pay for the groups is a matter, nonetheless. “Many obstacles face the African refugees’ academy in Egypt, mainly the lack of funding from an official party or independent or international organization,” he said. “We are making up for that by collecting symbolic fees from players to book fields for practice and buying the necessary equipment.”

He added, “The academy is a big dream through which we want to train players well and build their capacities to enable them to play professional football and help our different countries.”


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