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As football fever surrounds this year's World Cup in Brazil, young Syrian refugees in Zaatari refugee camp and Al Sareeh took part in a tournament of their own to celebrate the game and mark World Refugee Day this year. The football festivals were organised by the Asian Football Development Project (a One Goal partner) and the United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The tournament started on the 15 June with eight under-15 girl's and boy's teams and culminated on World Refugee Day with girl's and boy's Finals matches.

With 1500 refugees playing football every day in Zaatari across 10 pitches, football -- together with other recreational and support activities -- is playing an important role in helping young refugees respond to the challenges posed by their displacement, and the impact of the conflict in Syria on their lives.

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More than half of the total 2.8 million Syrian refugees are children. (UNHCR)

Chair of AFDP and head of the Jordan Football Association, HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein said, “Every year the world comes together to commemorate World Refugee Day. Today, Syrian and Jordanian children and youth come together in two football tournaments to enjoy the world's most popular game but to also remind the world especially during the World Cup that football is for all."

Speaking on behalf of UNHCR, Mr. Andrew Harper, the U.N. refugee agency's representative to Jordan commented: "The excitement for the World Cup has spilled over into Zaatari, allowing children to forget the fear they carried with them, if only for a day. Their training and perseverance has paid off and today we pay tribute to them, children of Syria."

Read the full article on the-afdp.org.


The Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) is a not-for-profit Youth Commission founded in January 2012. AFDP provides Asian football organisations and development organisations using football as a tool for social development with needs-based assistance.